Austria and Slovenia Cement Their Positions in Pool A Ahead of the #EuroLeagueW Silver Final 4

To kick off the second tournament in Maribor, hosts Slovenia and Austria gained full point victories with just a few matches left before the final 4 teams are locked in. Some numbers jumped off the page tonight, with the young Slovenian middle blocker Mirta Velikonja Grbac scoring 7 blocks and Austria outscoring Luxembourg 75-49 in the match. 

In the opening match of the second tournament of the CEV Silver European League 2021 in Maribor, Austria swept over Luxembourg by seizing a 3-0 victory. Austria’s Monika Jr Chrtianska finished the match as top scorer with 13 points to her name.

“Today we got an important win. We confirmed the result from the last week and gained three important points. We were very stable today and did not let the opponents come close. Our job is done, tomorrow is the next game and hopefully we will get it to our pockets as well.”

Monika Jr Chrtianska
Outside Hitter of Austria 

– The players around head coach Jan De Brandt easily imposed their game in the first and the second set of the match, pushing hard from the serving line.

– Better performance on attack and block became the key to the victory for Austria, especially after Luxembourg came back to the game in the third set.

– Both teams scored 7 aces, whilst Austria dominated on the block, making 10 in total compared to their opponent’s three.

– After the fourth straight loss in as many matches Luxembourg will be looking for a new opportunity for their first win in tomorrow’s clash against Slovenia.

“I think we really played a good game, but we had a low moment during every set. Sometimes we were feeling down, I feel it was because of our reception, on which we have to work on in the future. We are not used to play games at this high level. We fought and I am proud of our team.”

Lena Wagner
Opposite of Luxembourg

Slovenia kept their top record in Pool A of the European Silver League with a confident 3-1 victory over Israel despite a 27-point performance from the Israeli opposite Polina Malik. 

“If you consider the very short period of time we have spent together, I think we delivered a very good performance today, despite losing the first set. I am happy with how we managed to come back into the game. We are already looking forward to the Final Four tournament where we will probably face Bosnia and Herzegovina, so we have to use the next two matches as a good preparation for the last stage of the competition.” 

Mirta Velikonja Grbac 
Middle blocker of Slovenia 

– In an uncommon occurance, Mirta Velikonja Grbac was the leading scorer as a middle blocker for Slovenia with 18 points on 9 for 13 hitting and 7 blocks.

– 5 players scored 8+ points for Slovenia, and the team hit 51% as a team overall. 

-Israel’s opposite Polina Malik was set 61 times, over half her team’s total attacking attempts

-After the first set which they lost 22-25, Slovenia outscored Israel 75-50.  

“Today we performed a way better than we did last week when we played against Slovenia. I think we came more prepared and more focused. Sometimes we lacked focus and sometimes we lost momentum as well, but I think that overall we played well. We will try to improve for the upcoming matches.” 

Polina Malik 
Opposite hitter of Team Israel

CEV – European Volleyball
OZS – Volleyball Slovenia
ÖVV – Volleyball Austria