Slovenian national team starts preparing for the 2024 season

Slovenian women’s volleyball team has gathered in Kranjska Gora and started preparations for the 2024 CEV European Golden League. The first match awaits the Slovenian girls on May 17th in Estonia, and on May 24th and 26th, they will get a chance to present themselves to their fans in Maribor.

Slovenian volleyball players, whom we followed at the 2023 CEV European Championship and in the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers, are ahead of two challenges in this national team season. First, they will compete in the 2024 CEV European Golden League, starting on May 17th with a match against Estonia, followed by a clash with Ukraine the day after. The second tournament will be hosted in Maribor from May 24th to 26th, where Slovenians will meet Spain and the Czech Republic. To conclude the regular part of the competition, Slovenia will face Slovakia and Sweden in Bratislava.

In the Slovenian team, they faced numerous cancellations, so the new coach Alessandro Orefice, who finished the club’s season with a French national championship title, doesn’t have all the best players at his disposal: “First, I want to say that I am very happy to be here, to have the opportunity to work for an exceptional federation like the Volleyball Federation of Slovenian is, and with an excellent staff. We find ourselves in a specific situation, and I have to be honest and say that I really did not expect such a high number of cancellations. But now we need to focus on the players who came to Kranjska Gora. Despite everything, our goals remain the same. We will present ourselves in the best possible light and try to win every game. That is our task. We don’t have much time for preparation, but it’s the same for all teams. We already started building up the game system. The working conditions are excellent, the players have an exceptional attitude towards work. I am confident that we will create good energy.”

The team captain, Sasa Planinsec, shares a similar mindset: “I am happy that those girls who are here today know why they came to the national team. I hope that we will be playing at a high level, showing as much as possible on the field, playing with much desire and fighting spirit. I hope that we will find our playing rhythm as soon as possible. For now, the feelings are positive; the coach, whom I didn’t know before, seems like an energetic and very ambitious coach, which I think is great for our team.”

Lorena Lorber Fijok was very satisfied with the beginning of preparations: “I am very satisfied with the energy we are showing at practices, as well as with the desire and focus of the players. I am very happy to be back with the national team, looking forward to hard work, looking forward to matches, and can’t wait for the rest of the preparations and competitions to begin.”

There are three rookies in the national team, all three are members of the Slovenian U-20 team: opposite Nina Svetina, middle blocker Ajda Gornjec Hodnik, and libero Tara Filipic. In addition to the players already in Kranjska Gora, from Monday onwards, Orefice will also be able to count on opposite Nika Markovic and setter Sara Najdic.