Thursday, March 24, 2016

Finnish player ends on top

Hanna Salomäki go home soon to Finland but is open to a sequel in Sweden. In GVK she has gained lifelong friends and also delivered on the court, which means that she won in Värnamo Nyheter's Hat Leage for GVK season 15/16. Photo: Henrik Hultqvist

Finnish spiker ended up in the top

Salomäki: "I was nervous about whether they would like me or not"

Hanna Salomäki took the win in the league hat in GVK.
But she did not know what she should expect when she came to Sweden.

You won the hat league this year. What do you think about that?
- Of course, I got a smile when I hear it. I have worked hard to get where I am right now and I'm really glad that other people can see it too. It keeps me motivated!

The season as a whole, what do you say about your own performance?
- I remember when I first came that people [around the club] talked about me as a good defender and receiver. But during the season, I have found the player in me that kills balls and steps up in tough situations. During the season, I have grown as a person. I had to take a lot of responsibility and it has given me a lot of confidence.

- But it's really sad that I got sick after the first playoff game and could not play after that. Competing in the playoffs is what all players want to do.

What do you say about the team's season?
- Our expectations were high for this season and we worked hard throughout the season to be ready for the playoffs. Unfortunately, Esther (de Vries) got injured during the second half of the season but the players who stepped up and played on her position, did it really well and I'm proud of them all. We had everything in our hands during the playoffs but Svedala had a little more routine.

What made you come to Sweden and Gislaved first place?
- I always wanted to see how volleyball is abroad, but I did not want to travel too far from home. So Sweden sounded like a good place and luckily Gislaved contacted my agent and wanted me. Of course I said yes and here I am, seven months later.

Was it what you expected?
- It was my first year abroad, so I did not really know what to expect. I remember I was really nervous about whether they would like me or not, haha. I'm glad they did and I liked the atmosphere when I came here the first time. They have taken good care of me and helped me when I needed it so there have not been any problems at all. During the years I have gained friends for life, so it's probably not my last time in Sweden.

Speaking of which, are you open to a new season in Gislaved, or should you move on?
- I have not met the board yet, but it will happen soon. Obviously I'm always open to opportunities here and elsewhere.

What will happen next for you?
- I go home to Finland soon, I can hardly wait to see my family and friends again. When I am well again I will start working out and when the summer comes to Finland and I'll play beach volleyball with my younger sister. But otherwise, I'll do a little traveling and enjoy the summer!

Facts: Hats VK Gislaved

1. Hanna Salomäki, 25.
2. Meghan Sherman, 23.
3. Lisa Tannerfalk, 20.
4. Jessica Lakatos, 17
5. Ester de Vries, 16.
6. Mathilda Carlsson 11.
7. Ebba Ekblad, Sofie Back 6.
9. Elin Andersson, Emma Tegnhammar, Pauline Adolfsson; 2.
12. Ida Lindbäck, Therese Bengtsson 1.

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