Monday, December 21, 2015

Despite the Loss: "Good Game"

Daniel Magnusson requested dangerous game - and he got it
Gislaved continues a tough schedule in the Swedish Elitserien.
But if you believe the coach, the team is on the right path.

Gislaved-Orebro 1-3 (19-25, 26-24, 24-26, 19-25)
It became a bit of a shocker when Gislaved faced Örebro at home in Gisle Sportscenter.

Örebro, with former GVK-setter Josephine Tegenfalk on their roster, was chasing a Grand Prix position, while GVK searched for their first league victory since the third round against RIG Falköping.

"I cannot say that I'm satisfied that we've lost, but the girls do a fantastic match. It may sound silly to those who read the newspaper or follow us that we lose and say that we make a good match. But we did," says coach Daniel Magnusson.


The team was not without problems. First Liberon Jessica Lakatos suffered a concussion during morning practice. She started the game, but in the end was unable to continue.

"Jessica got the okay that she could start the match, but felt nauseous and dizzy so I took her out. But Sofie (Bäck) was amazingly good today."

The team fought tough through the whole match, but more often the play showed Örebro taking the driver's seat than the home team.

In the second and third sets, the match took an exciting turn, with both sets reaching "extra points".

"I get a little of the same feeling as after the Hylte-Halmstad match. We have been up there at the end of sets, but have yet to take it through to the result. I think we should have had at least one point so it's sad when it becomes as it gets."

Magnusson hoped before the match that their team would play daring and aggressive - and he got his wish.

"Yes I definitely think the girls stepped up. Take Terese Bengtsson; she is incredibly young and inexperienced playing at this level, but we are working hard for her to get ready for the playoffs. She was a threat today, Lisa is a threat. Mathilda had a good match. Esther (de Vries) and Hanna (Salomäki) are always threats. We played a little dangerous and a little tougher," he says.

"But then we have to remember that Örebro is a great team. They had some fantastic blocks and took over at the end."

Top of playoffs

But despite playing well, the team will enter the Christmas break with seven straight losses in the Elitserien. Nothing good hindsight, to say the least.

But Magnusson is sure. This team will be at the top during playoffs.

"Give us time and patience and we'll continue working for this team to succeed in the post-season!"

Saturday, December 19, 2015

After loss: "bittersweet feelings"

You can listen to my interview on Varnamo Nyheter's homepage:

The teams battled closely when Gislaved met Örebro on their home court, but in the end it was the visitors who drew the longest straw with a 1-3 win (19-25, 26-24, 24-26, 19-25).

Coach Daniel Magnusson was still, despite the loss, pleased with the efforts and MVP Meghan Sherman agreed.

"It's a bittersweet feeling after the game," she says.

The loss was GVK's seventh straight in the Elite League.

Hear more about what Sherman said about the game in the clip above.

GVK Requires a Dangerous Game

Daniel Magnusson has a strong sense of his Gislaved VK turn the team's miserable trend already in the afternoon when Orebro visits Gisle Sportcenter.

Gislaved has six-straight losses - and hopes to see the trend change today.

It is the last game before the Christmas and New Year break.

In their match, GVK looks to play an aggressive game against Orebro.

"I want to see aggressive plays from all positions," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

The fall schedule has left Gislaved supporters frustrated, with the team suffering six losses in a row since October.

Since the team's last match, against Hylte / Halmstad (1-3 loss) at the beginning of December, the club management had several individual meetings with players.

Something they hope will pay off this afternoon.

"There has absolutely been no tension in the team, but since we have not met our performance goals, it is important to talk about what we as leaders require of the players and what they, in turn, expect of us. I hope it will result in a new breath of life for all of us, starting today," said Daniel Magnusson.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

After sixth-straight elitserien loss...

Talk about a tough road for Gislaved VK in this season's Elitserien.
On Saturday, the team fell in their sixth straight loss 1-3 at home against Hylte / Halmstad.

"But the team stood up well against this hard competition," says Mathilda Carlsson.
Gislaved-Hylte / Halmstad 1-3 (22-25, 21-25, 25-15, 17-25)

GVK's opposite attacker was radiant with several strong attacks, earning seven points.

Perhaps due to what happened hours before the start of the match.

"I've had problems with my one shoulder before, but it has started to feel better and I dare to invest more in the game because I have not felt hindered the same way anymore. Just before the game, I also got acupuncture, six needles in there that hurt, but apparently did the trick," says Mathilda Carlsson.

But a new loss came in the match that can be counted as something of a derby given the distance between the two teams. Many fans of the Halland-based team traveled to Gisle Sportcenter for the match Saturday afternoon.

"Six consecutive losses, of course are not fun, but at the same time this effort was clearly better than the home against Svedala earlier this week," says Mathilda Carlsson.

In fact, Gislaved's girls took the lead with three or four balls in each set - and lost by small margins. 

"I do not know why we have not managed to keep the lead. Sure, we lost some services here and there but that doesn't really stress us. We stayed calm but ... I do not know, it's hard to give a good answer," says Mathilda Carlsson.

After the 1-3 defeat to Svedala on Thursday, coach Daniel Magnusson responded sharply to the team.

"Maybe we needed [him to put the pressure on us] and as I said we played more as a team this time," says Mathilda Carlsson.

Daniel Magnusson:
"I did not yell at one individual player but on how we as a team performed. Compared with the last match [against Svedala], this is an incredible step forward. After that match, I said very disappointed and gave the girls quite a scolding, but now they stepped up and showed that they really want to play for this club," he says.

"We must rise a little more about the rest but we showed Hylte / Halmstad several times that we are a team who will fight. But we miss some of the reception the game, and then it will be difficult against a team that has been in the last two SM-finals."

Dutch outside hitter Ester de Vries was once again the best scorer for the home team and was praised as the match even MVP of GVK - a prize Mathilda Carlsson would have incurred for their sacrificial games in the background.

"Ester had an outstanding match and is important for us, but both she and Hanna Salomäki have the ability to take it to another level, so to some extent I can certainly agree with that Mathilda could have earned the prize," Daniel Magnusson.

Next up for GVK is the final home match of the fall-season, against Örebro with former-GVK setter Josephine Tegenfalk in the roster.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

GVK Falls in Derby Match

Sixth straight loss for GVK

The team did not manage to reverse the dismal trend.

Sixth-straight elitserien loss came on Saturday.

MVP Ester de Vries led GVK with 23 points (21 kills and 2 aces)
Gislaveds VK has had a grueling fall season in the Elitseries. On Saturday afternoon, visiting team Hylte/Halmstad, series runner-up, won 3-1 in sets in Gisle Sportcenter, dealing GVK their 6th-straight loss.

HH jumped up to lead 2-0 in sets before the home team began in earnest showing a powerful resistance in the third as they won 25-15.

Below is a short summary of each set.

First Set:

10-minutes into the opening frame, it was the home team who took the lead with 13-8. A head start that failed to manage, as Hylte/Halmstad won 22-25.

Second set:

At the beginning of the second round, GVK again raced up to a 6-3 lead but this was quickly matched by the visiting team from Halland, as they tied the score 7-7 and then took a 6-point advantage.

It was Ester de Vries who stepped up and took a big role at the net, helping her GVK team reduce the deficit to 18-22.

Hylte/Halmstad drug out to lead 2-0 in sets; GVK trailed 21-25

GVK has nevertheless earned some momentum, seeing both Mathilda Carlsson and Hanna Salomäki stepping up for some big plays.

Third Set:

Here there was basically only one team on the court - Gislaved.

The home team took the daring move, edging the visiting team into an unfamiliar situation.

In fact, GVK walked up to 24-14 before the set was decided 25-15.

Fourth Set:

Gislaved began radiant and stepped up again in a 6-3-lead which then turned into 11-14 for the guests who are doing everything to close the game.

GVK fell 1-3 in sets to the visiting team, Hylte/Halmstad, with final score of 17-25.

Friday, December 4, 2015

GVK Coach Scolds Team

Gislaved VK lost to Svedala by 1-3 (15-25, 25-14, 20-25, 16-25).
It sent coach Daniel Magnusson through the roof.

Sherman (12), de Vries (3), Tannerfalk (9) plead with the ref
Gislaved was not in the match from the start.

They lost the first set by a large margin (15-25), but went on to win the second by equal results (25-14).

The two teams played evenly in the third, but after a string of points put together by Svedala, GVK was no longer in it. The final frame matched the first, and Gislaved fell 1-3 to visiting Svedala.

Daniel Magnusson, head coach of GVK, was not satisfied. Directly after the match, he took the players in the locker room and gave them a piece of his mind.

What was said in the locker room was not unveiled, but it's clear that Magnusson was greatly annoyed.

"Yes, I let them have it. It was time. We've talked a lot about what we should do, and that we need to work together in order to win. But we can not win these matches if we only have four or five players. We must be six, even 15 players who are on their game, and ready to play and fight for it!"

However, he was pleased with how they played - when it was good.

"At times in the game, we go for it. But we have to make that last longer and come more often!"

Thursday, December 3, 2015

VN Interview: Jessica Lakatos

At the age of 17, Jessica Lakatos made her debut with the first-team.
Now, eight years later, she is part of Gislaveds VK foundation, and on Thursday she and GVK will battle again after four straight losses in the Elitserien.
- If the right pieces fall into place, we are really sharp," she says.

VN meets GVK's libero at the Hotel Nissastigen the same evening they begin decorating for Christmas.

Gislaveds dreary season has taken a toll on Jessica Lakatos, which is not so surprising since she describes herself as the team's most grumpy player.

In a positive way, it should be emphasized.

"I am an extremely bad loser. I really hate losses," she says.

"When it happens, I lock myself in a room at home afterwards and just sit there and think about what went wrong and why. But I sit completely in silence, I'm not one to throw things at the wall to let off steam."

Jessica Lakatos was born in 1990, grew up and still lives in Gislaved where she began her volleyball career at the age of nine.

"I made my first A-team season as a 17-year-old ... I think. It was in any case just after GVK had fallen out Elitserien. But we took ourselves back directly, and since then I have been faithful to the club except for a short detour with Värnamo to play with their Division 1 team. I was a bit hungry for a change of scenery but soon returned home."

"More than once I have thought about how it would be to play in another team, like Katrineholm when they existed and were best, but I thrive in GVK and in town, I have my partner and family. So it feels good to be here."

Through the years, the 25-year-old has developed into a driving force.

"I do not see myself as a leader but one of my strengths is to speed up and push others when things are sluggish on and off the court."

On Thursday night, Lakatos and her teammates meet series runner-up Svedala on their home floor. On Saturday they play against league-leader Hylte / Halmstad, also in Gisle sportcenter.

"It will be tough but we absolutely have the chance to beat them. Against Hylte it is also a bit of a derby."

For that reason, Jessica hopes to have many fans join the spectator area.

"It has been a good crowd so far this season but I hope it continues. Mainly because it's much more fun to play when you know you have a lot of support in the back."

Why should you come? Motivate!
"Because we are playing very well when everything falls into place, and the sport of volleyball offers fast play, it is highly tactical. The game is constantly changing, depending on the match," says Jessica Lakatos with a smile.