Saturday, January 30, 2016

GVK's exciting victory

Daniel Magnusson had a good feeling before the game.
It was even more beautiful after victory 

GVK- Svedala 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23).
Gislaved is a small roller coaster-team.
But against Svedala, the team saw mostly highs. Long rallies in which they won, mixed with good serve game, and a red-hot Hanna Salomäki and defense giant in Jessica Lakatos.

Every so often this season, it has been the case where Gislaved lost the first set, won the second and then dropped the match with 1-3.

On Saturday, they reversed the trend.

GVK had 18-13 in the first set, Svedala keyed in to 18-17 before the home team pulled away and took the set with 25-18.

In the second set, Svedala returned the threat, and had as much as 9-19 lead. But after a fantastic serves from Ida Lindbäck and player substitutions Elin Andersson and Ebba Ekblad, GVK took six straight points that tweaked the numbers, but eventually fell 21-25.

The two teams exchanged points back-and-forth in an even battle for the remainder of the match. With the margins were on Gislaved's side this time, the team took much needed points towards the table that will surely help propel them in this spring's playoffs.

See Ester de Vries' interview with Värnamo Nyheter here:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gislaved almost fully healthy

The sickness-wave has passed.
GVK can - almost - put a full team on the court against Svedala this Saturday.

Only Meghan Sherman remains as questionable as the team prepares for Svedala
The team's two liberos are back after their illnesses.

"Friday at the training we were all that could be there except Ida (Lindbäck) which is in Gothenburg and Meghan (Sherman) who is at home with a cold that starts to drop," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

Sherman will be testing the morning practice on Saturday to see if she is playable or not. In addition, Ester de Vries to be ready to attack again after her mysterious shoulder injury.

Finger's crossed the laser works

"She has even taken a few swings during the week. I hope that Per Martinsson (physiotherapist) can do a good job on the morning workout with massage and run some laser treatment. Can we get Ester to attack, we become a little more of a threat at the net. At the same time, we have seen Hanna (Salomäki) really stepping up for the team," he says.

Gislaved is to face Svedala at home. A team that is fourth in the table with three points behind first place and with the Americans Mo Simmons and Chelsey Bettinson, ranking second and third in the points league respectively.

But Daniel Magnusson is still full of confidence.

Want to surprise

"I expect a pretty fun game. I have a good feeling in my body. It feels like a game where we could play good volleyball, then we will see if it is enough. I would not be surprised if we can beat Svedala tomorrow, but we must be humble to the task. It is about playing tough against their two attacking stars."

"They have a setter and middle who played together in college, so their connection is unbelievable. When they are in the front row, we must be sharp and press their setter out from the net."

The team hopes to succeed in a way that they tried in Tuesday's match against Engelholm, despite the 0-3 loss.

"There are some elements of the game where we must attack the deep and serve deep that forces our opponent into giving the worst possible conditions to attack. We also need to continue develop and utilize tougher serves."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sick GVK had no chance

Gislaved has a tough entry to the match.
It was made even tougher on the court.

EVS - GVK, 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-16).
Ten players were listed as doubtful for the game.

Four of them came after all the games with outside hitter Ester de Vries taking over as libero as Sofie Bäck and Jessica Lakatos were at home with illnesses.

However, setter Meghan Sherman continued to play with disease in the body.

"Had I had any other option, Meghan would not have played. She is not healthy right now," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

But there were no other choices. Defending champions Engelholm, along with Sports Prize Nominated Isabelle Haak, became overpowering.

"I've I'm being picky, then I'm not happy, but overall I am satisfied that we even were able to put together a team that can play," says Magnusson.

There was some stuff that Magnusson was not happy with. Among other things, that the girls did not get through Engelholm's blocks, which took twelve points, along with a weak service game from GVK.

"The serve is one area that no matter what, we should be able to challenge our opponent. There is a game, you against the ball. Which can be tougher."

The home team was superior, and the scores speak loudly, in which two sets were won by nine balls, and one set by ten points.

"Engelholm is way too good today. And then they used quite a lot of players. But we talked a lot about that we will take with us the warrior heart. The girls are frustrated and I understand that. But it gets a little lighter fluid before the Svedala match on Saturday."

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trouble for GVK starters

Engelholm is anything but easy.
It is not made easier when seven GVK players are sick.

All who are sick, raise your hand.
Mathilda Carlsson has a cold and is hesitant to start. Jessika Lakatos is sick with the flu.
Hannah Salomäki is one of the few GVK players who are healthy.

Elitserien's top team - away from home - is not an easy match up.

Especially not with seven players sick.

"We must dig through our tool box to find a solution," Coach Daniel Magnusson says with a solid list of the ailments.

Just look here:

Libero Jessika Lakatos is sick.

Second libero Sofie Back is sick.

Reserve setter Elin Andersson is sick.

Middle blocker Emina Bosno is sick.

Ida Lindbäck is expected to recover Sunday's 24-hour stomach flu.

Setter Meghan Sherman and Mathilda Carlsson both suffering from a cold.

Then, we have Ester de Vries with a shoulder impingement.

Lina Johansson is still not cleared to play.

And Joyce Akerlund is away with work.

"I've never seen anything like it ever. If it is a type of flu, and we have been careful to keep the players away from training when they felt that they had a virus on in the body. We have focused on allowing players to rest, drink, and eat properly. But this can not be steered away. It is extremely unfortunate that so many people become sick at the same time."

Engelholm beat series leader Hylte/Halmstad 3-1 Sunday. And Gislaveds VK forced to scrape together enough players to compete.

How then will GVK be able to win over Engelholm?

"It is a huge challenge. We're asking the players to use all their energy towards the match and not do anything else. I trust those I put on the court. We have to play good defense. We'll go out and run and give each other energy. We see it as a pretty damn fun challenge."

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Debut as a superstar

17-year-old Ebba Ekblad shined in Gislaved VK's second straight win

Ebba Ekblad.
Add the name of the memory.
- What a fantastic debut, celebrates GVK-coach Daniel Magnusson.

Gislaved-Sollentuna 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18)
From Division 2 to Elitserien.

It may seem like a giant step - but apparently this was not the case.

At least not for Ebba Ekblad - a 17-year-old from Värnamo who, on Saturday, made her debut in the Elitserien with Gislaved VK. And what a debut it was.

We recorded nine points from Ebba including four aces and such poise that paved the way for GVK in the first set - a poise that made up for a comfortable victory and crowned Ebba's debut with the MVP.

GVK-coach Daniel Magnusson noted:

"What a fantastic debut. Ebba show showed incredible calmness and proved that she belongs at this level. Though I must admit I was a bit nervous before the match for Ebba's sake. It was no easy task trying to shoulder Ester De Vries' role. But Ebba did."

And Ebba was beaming with obvious joy after the game - but struggled to put into words the emotions:

"I do not really know what to say. I'm not so used to this situation," says Ebba with a smile.

Then it's just as well that Ebba get used to this, as it will probably not be the last time she will be in spotlight.

And finally:
"I was very nervous before the game, but then dropped it and I'm very happy. But it is not difficult to play well in this environment," says Ebba humbly.

GVK took their second-straight win after the winter break and Daniel Magnusson was really happy with the performance:

"We played really, really well, although Sollentuna was not as strong as I had imagined. They handed out many technical mistakes that gave us easy points."

"We still have a way to top shape. But we go to Ängelholm in the next round with some positive reinforcement behind us."

Friday, January 22, 2016

Attacker problems facing must-win match

Gislaved deals with player problems.

Mathilda Carlsson (10) may be one option to use on the outside.

Ester de Vries is a big question mark when looking at the GVK lineup.

Ester de Vries missed the last game with the GVK after a mysterious injury.

And she has not yet returned.

"The problem with Ester persists so, at this moment, I do not know if she is fit to play in the upcoming game. She has not been in training at all this week. It is a big question mark," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

We have seen that Gislaved struggles with some problems in the chart. But Magnusson is still relatively quiet.

"We're looking at some alternative solutions on how to set it up. Ebba Ekblad will be in the elite squad and a possible alternative is Pauline Adolfsson. We tested Mathilda Carlsson on the outside in the final set against Brøndby and it worked. There we can see another option. It is a bit puzzling, little thinking and a lot of different options."

Belief in the team, of course, is always there with GVK-coach.

"I trust our players 100%. We do not live or die with Ester, even if she has the most points. She would have been happy to be in top form on such a fun and important match."

Yes, the game. Sollentuna stands as the opposition. An equal opponent, when you look to the table. One who you have to beat to get a little better standing before the playoffs later in the spring.

"This match feels like a 50/50 match. Sollentuna has a pretty good upward curve and have gotten back two key players in a libero/outside, who started the season with Svedala, and opposite hitter Caroline Werner, who incidentally suddenly gone and become right-handed."

A familiar face can also show up in Gisle Sports Centre: Mikaela Larsson.

"She has played in just one set, but who knows, maybe she plays when they come to Gisle Hall. She has not been on their away games before, but maybe she will join because it is Gislaved."

Game-wise, if you want to go far.

"What we've been working on is to try to get our opponents further back in the court. To attack deeper. Moving them out from the net so they have to work hard to get the ball to an attacker."

"I expect a pretty long, time-consuming and energy-consuming match where I hope we can keep both our concentration and speed up. We should not be too eager and feel that we need to win fast and hard. Rather, try to fight every single ball and hope we get positions where we can go on to higher pace in attack."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ekblad - on the other side

Earlier this week, Ebba Ekblad signed over to Gislaved VK. Now
The taunts started even before the match.

Ebba Ekblad, who until Christmas break played in Värnamo VBA, has now transferred over to Gislaved VK for the remainder of the season. She traveled with her old squad to the match played in Gislaved.

"Yes, the girls were joking the entire car journey," coach Inge Marie Ekblad, laughing lightly.

Otherwise there was not much to laugh about for Värnamo VBA.

It was run over by GVK who elisted their U20 team, many of whom train with the elitserien team.

"Most of the match was crap. Our girls were not happy, not one of them. It was a bit of a beating."

Monday, January 18, 2016

Star player mysteriously injured

Ester de Vries has suffered a mysterious injury in her shoulder.
The attacker was sidelined when the team met and lost to Brøndby VK in Denmark.

Ester de Vries did not come to play when Gislaved fell in Denmark

Top-scorer Ester de Vries missed Gislaved's Oresund League match.
With hours left, she was put out of action due to a shoulder detection.
"But there are many questions so far. Ester will be investigated thoroughly," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

Brondby-Gislaved VK 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-22)
The Dutch attacker's problems were added a few days before the meeting with the Magnusson, Denmark's top team.

"She has not been injured in from collective team trainings, but what I know, Ester has had problems with her shoulder in the past, and when you feel that pain again, it is important that the whole thing is taken very seriously," says GVK-coach.

Will check carefully

"The club's physiotherapist Per Martinsson took the decision not to play Ester, and now we'll have her checked properly," continues Magnusson, who also had to keep a close eye on middle blocker Lisa Tannerfalk, who played with a sprained ankle tightly taped.

Without the hard-smashing 24-year-old De Vries, Gislaved had a hard time against the Danish team.

"We have a greater focus on doing well in the Elitserien and Brøndby is a smart team that can quickly add on tactics when they realized that Ester could not be with. Therefore, there was a lot of tough serves on the places where we were somewhat weakened," he said.

"Very satisfied"

"But I want to emphasize that I am very pleased and happy that the younger girls stepped in to these tough conditions. One of them was Pauline Adolfsson who probably thought she would keep up to Copenhagen and sit on the bench," says Magnusson.

After the loss was also some players remained in the Danish capital.

"Yes, they asked if they could go out and eat at night and I see no problem with it. Copenhagen is very nice this time of year and the girls deserve to enjoy themselves," says Daniel Magnusson, who returned to Sweden.

"Went smoothly"

"It went smoothly with the ferry between Helsingør (Denmark) and Helsingborg (Sweden), but of course took a little longer than usual because you now have to show identification."

Last week, told the newspaper that Värnamo VBA's Ebba Ekblad has been training with GVK.

"The clubs have begun a transition and we hope all the papers are ready in time so Ebba play with us this weekend when we face Sollentuna home," says Daniel Magnusson.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Talent to play in GVK

Ebba Ekblad may join GVK in 2016

Coach: "A diamond in the rough that can contribute directly"
As Emma Tegnhammar leaves the club, a replacement may be joining.

Emma Tenghammar goes on a long trip. Gislaved VK is already looking for a replacement. It may be Ebba Ekblad, 17, from Värnamo VBA. She has trained with GVK's elite squad recently.
"We've been watching her for a while - a diamond in the rough. She has a lot to learn, of course, but she has been committed to the trainings," coach Daniel Magnusson.

Värnamo's star outside hitter.

"There is no transition talk between clubs, but I have told the board that I am interested in a solution."

Transfer window closes 31/1.

Before that, the team will meet Brøndby on Saturday.

"It will be really fun to get to play there and get to meet a highly-skilled team. If they played in the Swedish league, they had been rated number one. Undoubtedly."

And they have improved since last time.

In the previous meeting, GVK squeezed out a five-set thriller in Gisle sportcenter.

"It was one of the better matches we've done. We take that feeling with us on the trip to Copenhagen."

You think you can do it again?
"Brøndby is big favorites in the Oresund League, and we really need to fight hard if we are to have a chance, but we hope to come home with the feeling that all the training we have done has paid off. This week we took away our strength training, and instead brought in an aerobics class. We feel it's a fun exercise, and we need to have some fun and do something else sometimes."

Either way, Brøndby will be a great challenger before the important league match against Sollentuna.

"We get a chance to evaluate ourselves against a higher pace and learn to see where we are in terms of overall development."

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Big happiness for GVK

The wind has changed for the Gislaved girls

It may certainly be the case - on Tuesday took GVK namely first win after seven straight defeats.
"That's because a lot of patience," says coach Daniel Magnusson.
RIG Falköping-Gislaved 0-3 (13-25, 22-25, 23-25)
Daniel Magnusson and his GVK is far from having had it easy during the winter.

The team ended the autumn season with disastrous seven straight losses but on Tuesday it seems the winds have changed.

"Although we have lost many matches, we have gone down with flying colors, and it has not been reflected in the league's table. Anyway, it was obviously nice to win again and we succeeded because we turned fought hard against RIG Falköping, who sits last in the table," says Daniel Magnusson.

Dutch attacker Ester De Vries was again a top player and scraped together 13 points; as did Finnish spiker Hanna Salomäki.

"It is very impressive for Hanna considering she is still battling the flu from winter break," says Magnusson.

Against RIG, who has eleven straight losses, GVK was able to sub in a number of girls who have not had that much playing time.

"Elin Andersson was a positive injection that for a long time has proved that she is ready for the Elite League. Even Pauline Adolfsson made a strong effort and came in and had a service ace directly off the bench," says Daniel Magnusson.

Gislaved's match next January 23, when Sollentuna visits Gisle Sportcenter.

"In addition to the team's patience, I am very satisfied with the win and hope we continue to take this with us for the future," concludes GVK-head coach.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

GVK looks to break their trend

Gislaved has not won in the Elite League since October.
Now, after the Christmas break, it may be time for a win again.
"I can understand if people think we're stupid to say it has gone well when we have not won," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

The team set high goals for the season.

One was reaching the Grand Prix. Something which the team has done in both 2012 and 2014 seasons.

And it started well. The first goal was met during pre-season when they won Knalle Cup for the first time in 18 years, followed by a win over Engelholm in a friendly match and continued into the start of the series well. Two wins in the opening three matches.

But then it went downhill. The results did not go the team's way and after the second victory, have yet to earn any more points.

Seven straight losses in the elitserien is a fact.

"You can not blame it. We ended up in a group with Engelholm, Hylte/Halmstad and Svedala. It's a tough group to meet in twice prior to the Grand Prix. Compared with Örebro, the fourth team to reach the GP, who has, on paper, an easier way towards the top of the league facing RIG Falköping, Sollentuna and even Lindesberg, all teams that are just above or below us by a few points. You can see it in different ways and talk about bad luck. But the fact is that they may actually three points against RIG and Sollentuna that we have no chance for. Even so, these are not things we can control."

But the losses have not taken much space in the team's mind. At least not according to Magnusson.

"It does not look like the girls are sad. Of course, they are disappointed in themselves and as a team that we have not succeeded what we could. But I would ask how many games we have lost, I would hear a bit different answers, I think. Some of the losses does not feel like losses. But we have a little patience, I think it can be good."

One positive thing for Gislaved this year is that all teams go to the playoffs. So no matter how many losses there will be, the team will ultimately be able still be in the fight for the SM-gold.

Lina Johansson is a positive addition that now, after a long injury absence, has started training again.

"She is back in training and should play some back row. It can make the girls get a little rejuvenated when they see how much she has worn."

The league had over two-week break in the matches, and it has done the most good for GVK, according to Magnusson.

"Hanna and Ester got to go home for Christmas and get some good feelings from spending time with their families. Ester looked really fresh in training this week so I hope we can build on it."

"We've talked quite a bit about setting out some new goals or if they are still feeling good about those set in preseason. I'll have to examine myself a bit too. I have wanted a bit too much and wanted to go a little too fast moving ahead without knowing that everyone is on board."

The first match of 2016 comes on Tuesday, meeting RIG Falköping away.

"We are continuing to get tougher. The team decided to train over the weekend while others play at the Grand Prix. We will still fight for it!"

Friday, January 1, 2016

"We can do better"

Gislaveds VK has a tough run through the elitserien.
Ester de Vries does not let her game be affected by the losses.

You lead Värnamo Nyheter's Hat League in GVK so far, what do you think of your contribution up to this point?

-I'm very grateful that I got the opportunity to play with GVK because I had a very severe injury last season. Keeping that in mind, I have done very well. And I'm glad that I continue to see that I developed. But at the same time, I know that both I and the team can get better.

What do you think about the team effort so far?

- We have worked hard, but obviously, I think we can do better. I know we have many young and inexperienced players so I think that we do it well. Especially these young players have shown much willingness to improve.

What do you need to do to start winning again?

- Right now we have time to get the team together and work more as a team and let the younger talent get used to the higher tempo. We will continue to be better but it's in the playoffs that it really matters. If we play as a team and are focused throughout the matches, it will.

What are you most pleased with the team?

- How do we fight hard and have fun together.

You have lived in big cities before, how does life in Gislaved?

- There is a big difference from Amsterdam (Netherlands) and San Francisco (California, USA).

What do you do want to do here that you have not done?

- I want to see a real live moose.

What are you afraid of?

- The fact that the moose will come out in front of my car. And minus degrees.

If your apartment catches fire what do not you take with you?

- My hard drive.