Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sherman leaves Sweden

Meghan Sherman left Sweden for a job offer in the United States.

Athletic director: "A heavy loss, but great fun for her"

Meghan Sherman has accepted a coaching job that takes her back to her home country, therefore leaving Sweden for at least one year.
"She is very loved and will be missed," says athletic director Lars Englund.

This fall, Meghan Sherman, 27, will be starting as an assistant coach for a college volleyball team in the state of North Carolina.

"Tough news for us but great fun for her. Meghan's contract had expired [after this season] and this was an offer she could not refuse. For us it was hard to match, but we are of course very happy for her and hopefully she returns to GVK in the future."

Sherman's husband, Daniel Magnusson, however, looks set to stay in Sweden and is negotiating with the club to continue as head coach for the elite team.

"We've had one season, and want Daniel to stay. But there are some small details that we should agree on before we can sign the new contract," says Englund.

"Not only is Daniel a good coach, but he does a lot for the development of the association's youth players and leaders," he continues.

In addition to the loss of Meghan Sherman, the Dutch attacker Ester de Vries ended her season with GVK in late January due to a shoulder injury that demanded immediate repair.

Earlier this spring, Finnish outside hitter Hanna Salomäki decided to pursue her playing career back home in Finland.

"At the moment, we have no foreign professionals, but I'm working with several names that may become important to the club. Among others, is a 25 year-old American who is eager to come to us and a Ukrainian," revealing the sports director.

Among other players that will not continue next season are youngsters Gabriella Odenholt and Emina Bosno mentioned.

"They have chosen to begin their post-high school studies," explains Englund.

"But the backbone of the squad has started to emerge," adds Lars Englund, "including Mathilda Carlsson and Lisa Tannerfalk - both of whom have signed new contracts for the 2016/2017 season."

Friday, April 29, 2016

Star leaves GVK - moves home after one season

She scooped up points for Gislaved in both the Elite League and the Öresundliga.
Now Hanna Salomäki has decided to move back to Finland.
- "We'll miss you," writes the club on Instagram.

 290 points for the Finnish outside hitter - who now looks to pursue her playing career in the Finnish Mestaruusliiga with LP Kangasala. In March, Salomäki was selected to the Finnish women's national training squad. She is one of 26-players that will look to join the final 12-player roster slated to compete mid-September in the European Championships.

"Thank you for a brilliant season. Good luck, we'll miss you," GVK writes in a post on social media.

Hanna Salomäki left Gislaved as a few weeks ago after the team lost in the SM-quarterfinals against Svedala.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

GVK-board thoughts on Magnusson

Daniel Magnusson's contract with Gislaved expires this summer.
Now, the two parties shall meet.

Player-budget does not increase without more sponsors.

GVK's season was recently brought to an end after falling 0-3 in matches against Svedala quarterfinal series. 

Now Gislaved VK's prepares for the autumn.

"The club's existence must not be jeopardized," says the president Patrik Paananen.

With the Dutch outside hitter Ester de Vries and Finnish spiker Hanna Salomäki, GVK, at times, dazzled.

But when De Vries suddenly encountered a mysterious shoulder injury, Salomäki, along with libero Jessica Lakatos, fell ill with fever, the team had not much to offer.

Now the club has started the process for the next Elite League season.

"The girls should know they did very well and showed great strength throughout the season. The fact is that our squad was among the youngest and perhaps among the most inexperienced," says Patrik Paananen.

"It is sad that injuries and illness to key players halted our potential. It would have been very interesting to know how far we could go if both Ester and Hanna were healthy," he adds.

The contract with coach Daniel Magnusson expires in the summer and the parties shall begin their meetings.

Do you want to keep him as a coach?
"Yes, we want to keep Daniel. He does not only great benefit of developing elite-team players, but Daniel develops the entire association with his knowledge. He is important for GVK."

Will De Vries and Salomäki stay for a second season?
"I do not know the current situation, but the hope is that they want to remain in Gislaved. But I will come back with more comments about all the players later. We will meet them and discuss the future," says the GVK-chairman.

Will you increase the player budget?
"Depends on how many more sponsors we get. We will, in any case, not risk the club's existence in order to afford the more expensive players," concludes Patrik Paananen.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

New loses for Ekblad

Ebba Ekblad played with the Swedish national team at the u19 European Championship qualification in Croatia.
And after three losses, the team is out.

On Thursday, they met the host nation Croatia, and fell 0-3 (15-25, 16-25, 17-25).

On Saturday it was time for the second match, this time against Turkey. Unfortunately, there was a similar situation there. The Turkish squad took the match in straight sets (13-25, 11-25, 14-25).

On Sunday it was time for the the last match of the group stage, Sweden vs Spain. There, things were considerably smoother. 

Spain won the opening set 25-20 and the second 25-11, but with the Swedes came back with revenge, winning the third set 23-25. However, the Spaniards were able to turn the tide back in the fourth set, winning it 25-17 and the match 3-1 in sets.

- In [Sunday's] game, there were some players who stood out. Setter Kajsa Österman came in during the game and showed courage to play the most unexpected ways out and fooled Turkey's middles several times to go in the wrong direction. Outside hitter Ebba Ekblad came in and attacked high and hard against Turkey's large blocks and won several balls in the third," says coach Oscar Vikterlöf.


vs Croatia: sets played (2), kills (1)

vs Turkey: sets played (3), kills (3)

Vs Spain: sets played (4), kills (3)

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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Season over for GVK

There was heavy challenge for GVK in the third quarter-final against Svedala. 
Photo: Henrik Hultqvist

Season over for GVK

Gislaved failed to blare out a victory in the quarterfinals meeting against Svedala. It is clear after loss 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-11) in the third match.

Gislaved had no good options.

Two of the three international professionals was missing and the first Libero.

But they still challenged the home team in the first set. After a nightmare opening where they trailed 0-6, GVK stood tall.

"It is the absolute best set ever with those who were on the court," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

They could not edge closer than 22-25, and were unable to pressure Svedala the rest of the game.

Second set was won by the home team with ten balls and the third and last of the season for GVK, with a clear 14 points.

Thus, the season is over for Gislaved losing match series against Svedala 3-0 in matches.

"There are many emotions running through your body but what I am pleased about is how we finished considering the players we have and the situation has become. We conclude with flying colors even if there is a loss it says on paper."

Virus raging through GVK before fate-match

Salomäki almost could not breathe - Lakatos' run over by the bus

Gislaved's Jessica Lakatos is an unsecured card for tonight's quarter-finals 3: 5 against Svedala.
Photo: Patrik Nilsson

Can GVK manage to keep the quarterfinal series alive? Svedala leads 2-0 in the best of five games.
The only way? Victory tonight.

Sunday afternoon. Just outside of Malmö.

During warm up, the team's leading point scorer Hanna Salomäki overheated to the point that breathing became difficult.

Later that evening, it was the Libero Jessica Lakatos who was unlucky.

"I came home and suddenly felt ill and later like I had been run over by a bus," she says.

Monday spent in bed.

"I have been drinking lots of water, eating honey and painkillers. I hope to be fit for the game but it is uncertain to know now," says Jessica on Monday evening.

Key player Ester De Vries is long gone from the game, suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in late January.

"I know that none of the players have given up. We have the capacity to turn the match again Svedala and then get to a home game where we can level the series at 2-2," says Jessica Lakatos.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hopeless GVK fell marginally

The coach Daniel Magnusson and his GVK is on the way out of the Championship finals.
Photo: Henrik Hultqvist 

SM-playoffs risk becoming a short story for Gislaved who, on Sunday, lost Quarterfinal 2.

The home team from Skåne won an undisputed match 3-0 in sets by 25-13, 25-13 and 25-12.

Svedala took Wednesday's first quarterfinal meeting (3-2), which means that fate will be decided on Tuesday, also at Svedala' home court.

"I can not give us more than a failing grade for this. We had nothing to give, and did not got better when Hanna Salomäki forced to throw in the towel after overheating," said Daniel Magnusson.

The reason: fever.

"She could hardly breathe and I will certainly not risk anyone's well-being. With Hanna on the sideline, I was forced to rotate in positions where Mathilda Carlsson took care of the left and Ida Lindbäck right side. It was of course not optimal, and such changes gave a clear advantage to Svedala," says GVK-coach.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Precision, hardness, and a hell of a lot of misses

VN-sport test goes on.
After hockey with Värnamo GIK, handball with Anderstorps SK was now time for Gislaved VK and volleyball.
And I got to know that I was alive.

I will start well this text as I did before.

I have experience in this sport too.

Hockey, I had been playing at a young age and handball I had predisposition, but neither of them was my cup of tea.

Could volleyball, a sport I played a lot in my years in school, be something?

Well, not that either.

It turned out that when I got the challenge from Gislaved VK's elite teams, they just wanted to mess with me.

And I really fell for it.

I came to the hall at 6pm, half an hour before the start, and were immediately told that we would run an exercise called the ladder, this is the team's suggestion. The team wanted to run it.

It was pure hell, if I may be so crude. Footwork and coordination has never been my strong suit, and it showed. The girls on the team smiled significantly and I tried hard but embarrassed myself quite dramatically.

Lisa Tannerfalk took me under her wing. I became her protégé. She tried to show me how to turn. A spike from her side became more of a serve from my side.

But then there were the warmups.

Serve game I thought was perfect during practice for. In any case, after I had been testing five or six times after smashing the first in the net.

"You can let the toss drop, if you want," said coach Daniel Magnusson.

I ignored the suggestion. I would get the ball. And eventually, I got there in the end.

But having watched the video afterward, my serves were not at all perfect. Balloon Serves was the right word but the team cheered for every ball I got over. If they were kind, or cheered sarcastically should be left unsaid, but I want to believe that it was the former.

But most of the work I had to do was serve receiving, and I can say that it was not my thing.

When you stand at the sideline thinking that they do not serve so hard. It's easy to expect, but when the well-trained serves flew past me, I changed my tune rather quickly.

But it is often not all about the power, I noticed. It's all about precision. To see where the opponent is on the court and put the ball where they are not. For I do not know how many times I thought I was in a good place to receive a spike but I just did not have my hands together.

But then it was not just accuracy. When Hannah Salomäki arrived and took in her spot on the floor, I stood paralyzed. I had really only a little bit of luck that Dutch spiker Ester de Vries was not at practice. Then I would not have been able to write this piece.

But is volleyball easy? Well, maybe in school. Maybe where you are the most athletic in a class with people who are fairly indifferent. But against the elite teams? Forget it. You have no chance.

Or as coach Daniel Magnusson said:

"You're lucky this is not a men's team."

Well, thanks.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

GVK shocked 3rd-ranked team

Gislaved did - almost.

A cliffhanger ended in victory for the visiting Svedala by 2-3 (25-22, 16-25, 25-22, 20-25, 10-15).

The first quarter-final of the Championship play-off was going Gislaveds way.

They won the first set and had the prime position when they won the third set to take a 2-1 lead in sets.

But lack of experience shone through. Plagued by unforced mistakes, GVK gave seasoned Svedala the chance to take stride. But it was a real shocker.

The fourth set ended with only five points difference in favor of the visiting team. In the fifth and final set, Svedala led 3-7, but with one quick point, Gislaved had a chance to catch up to the end. The teams battled back-and-forth to 9-9 before Svedala took their final plunge to win the match.

"This [quarterfinal] series is not over, no doubt about it," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

Outside-hitter Hanna Salomäki thoughts, you can see in the video link below:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

GVK is hopeless in quarterfinals - according to national team coach

The search for SM-Gold kicks off on Wednesday.

Star player Ester De Vries will be absent when Gislaved begins quarterfinal series against Svedala on Wednesday night.
"But without her, the playoffs will be short," says Ismo Peltoarvo. took a chat with Sweden's national coach - who played down Gislaveds chance.

Despite that, GVK notoriously defeated Svedala in the beginning of 2016.

But without hard-hitting Dutch player Ester De Vries, the playoffs could be a short story for the team, says Ismo Peltoarvo.

"As long as Ester De Vries was in play, Gislaved felt like a team that could surprise everyone. Now I have very hard to see them take a match against Svedala. Says more of the high-class Ester is," he says.

In the Dutch player's absence, Peltoarvo choose to highlight Gislaved's other foreign professionals.

"Hanna Salomäki (from Finland) and Meghan Sherman (USA) belong to the Elite series top players. GVK has done a good job of recruiting professionals," added the coach.

Among the Swedish names, Ismo believes that a great talent Ebba Ekblad, from Värnamo, stands out.

"Ebba's rapid development is, and will be especially interesting to follow in the future," he says of the young girl who joined from playing in Division 2 in the winter.

Does Daniel Magnusson have what it takes to be a successful Elite League coach?
"Yes, Daniel has impressed and really seems to be the wise tactical choice. But to build a winning culture, and I mean to be a constant championship candidate, it requires that the organizations have a full-time coach. There is one way that Gislaved can improve, compared to those few top clubs who have chosen to give their coaches the opportunity to focus on their mission fully," says Ismo Peltoarvo.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Daniel Magnusson knows exactly how the team should play against Svedala

Engelholm was the team they thought they would get.
But when the quarterfinals elections were finished, it was a completely different team.
- There's no way, says coach Daniel Magnusson.

Engelholm got to pick first. They chose RIG Falköping. Örebro chose Sollentuna, and Gislaved? Svedala.

"Most people here thought it would be Engelholm, historically, they tend to choose us. Now we will face Svedala, and we think this will be a fun series. First-place against last, runner-up took 7th, and so on," says Magnusson.

Svedala is a team that Gislaved defeated during the regular season, winning on their home court and Magnusson's keys to success are clear:

"It's about to get rid of their foreign players. Mo Simmons has 450 points, that's pretty impressive. You have to get her off balance."

How to get a player out of balance in volleyball?
"Trip her at the net ..."

"No, joking aside, we should be a little tougher against them and win the mental games. An additional block, or our players can utilize their hands to get the block-out."

Gislaved begins the quarterfinal series at home on Wednesday, and will therefore have a slight advantage before playing quarterfinals two and three in Svedala.

"This first game is the most important. To go down to Svedala is tough, all the teams have trouble down there. It's a boring gym."

"Now it's about building confidence and remind the players of everything that we have done well. There is no point to anything that has not worked, but you should be aware of it and see the possibilities."

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Thought we should challenge them more"

Gislaved lost the last regular season game against Örebro.
"They did it well," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

Gislaved lost their match against Örebro 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-14). Daniel Magnusson was not happy but his focus is already moving forward.

"I thought we could challenge Engelholm more."

Didn't you play Örebro ?!
"Yes. What did I say? Engelholm? Yes, we talked about them right. But as I said, we thought we could challenge the more. They serve well, it was a bit like the match against Svedala," he says.

It was, in other words, not the conclusion Gislaved wanted as they enter the quarterfinals, which begins on Wednesday.

"No, of course not. We talked before the game that we do not care about the result but you want to have a good feeling."

"But you can see it in other ways too. Now we are hungry for revenge, as it should be, no matter which team we meet."

"We did not step up today. Neither as a team or as individuals. The heart was there and the will. But we froze in the game and we could not match Örebro."

Quarterfinals elections released late in the evening, but Magnusson think it will be Engelholm who stands as their playoff opponent.

"They may take RIG to get a lighter resistance, but historically, they like to choose us."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Controversial proposals discarded - Englund exhales

Gislaved's Finnish scoring machine Hanna Salomäki could have been plucked out of the game if the union's proposals for a maximum of two foreign players become reality. Photo: Henrik Hultqvist

GVK-sports chief: "Imported spice league"

Maximum of two foreign players on the court.
That was the league proposal that recently triggered a storm of protest.

The federation voted and the proposal, for the time being, was returned to the back burner.

Something Gislaved cheered for.

"Imported players creates more interest. Those who play in Sweden are very skilled and we want to continue to see that teams get to have three foreigners on the court at the same time," says GVK's sports director Lars Englund.

"At the same time, I recognize that there are some reluctant feelings. It's obvious that everyone wants more talented Swedes, but we're not there yet, and may not get there without the contributions from these international players," continues Englund.

If the federation's proposal was accepted, GVK's successful pros Meghan Sherman, Ester De Vries or Hanna Salomäki, would have suffered the consequences.

"There is not a club [in Sweden] who can afford professional on the bench," claims Lars Englund.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ekblad selected for junior national team

Earlier in the season, she left Värnamo VBA to join Gislaved VK in the elitserien.
Now she will play in the national team.

For Ebba Ekblad, the decision to join GVK was to train and learn through the tail end of the season.

But she impressed, earning playing time and the attention of the volleyball federation.

Ekblad has been named to the U19 national team that will compete at the European Championship-qualifiers in Rovinj, Croatia this March-April.

The team will face the host nation Croatia before taking on Turkey and finally Spain.

The winner of the group qualifies through to the finals. The runner-up and the best third-place team from the various groups go to the qualifying round three.

The squad includes players from nine different clubs.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Magnusson praises Svedala: "Fantastic!"

Gislaved had a chance in the second set, but was otherwise run over by Svedala (13-25, 21-25, 10-25).
"You have to look at what they bring into the match with them and what we have," said coach Daniel Magnusson.

Magnusson was not really disappointed despite the loss.

"The service pressure they had was amazing. I give the complete recognition. The served great. So I'm not very disappointed," he says.

"I don't care about the scores. The girls showed today that they believe in it, despite entering the match overcoming so many changes in our squad this spring."

The disappointment that they did not win was obviously there, as always. But otherwise, it was positive response.

"We bring very much baggage. I told the girls that they were to be disappointed for the loss, but looking at an individual basis and as a team we showed that we have not given up yet. We'll go down to Amager with a faith and the will to win, and we don't need any time to get motivated to beat Hylte."

Now awaits Amager in the Öresundliga on Friday.

"We reload, go home and then we have a light training tomorrow and analyze a bit what we will take with us and how Amager play. A little touch, much stretching so we do not become stiff."

"We should have a pretty good chance of victory against Amager," says Magnusson.

The team captain Lisa Tannerfalk earned three hats, as Magnusson want to pay tribute to her a little extra.

"She really showed determination and commitment."

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monster week ahead for GVK

Gislaved's monster week starts on Wednesday for their first of three matches in just five days.

240 km (150 miles) to Svedala on Wednesday, 160 km (100 miles) to Amager on Friday, and 90 km  (55 miles) to Halmstad on Sunday.

Overall a distance, round trip, over 890 km (550 miles) in five days.

That's what awaits Gislaved.

One that would have had it even worse was Ida Lindbäck, who also would have received 250 km (155 miles) roundtrip added to her home in Gothenburg. But:

"I'll just be at one of the matches, Wednesday against Svedala."

A match she looks forward to.

"It's a fun team and the opponent. We have a good chance."

And though she will not be with her team on Sunday, she believes in a victory against Hylte / Halmstad.

"It's time to break the trend against Hylte now. We've been waiting all season. Now it will happen. It's about time."

Is it realistic?

"Yes, it is. Anything can happen if you just believe in it!"

Saturday, February 20, 2016

GVK's loss expected

Gislaved did as expected, and fell 0-3 (13-25, 19-25, 21-25) against visiting Engelholm.

Gislaved was not ready at the start of the match.

Engelholm did a bit of what they wanted and took home the first set relatively easily.

But during the break between the first and second sets, coach Daniel Magnusson's voice was heard throughout the gym and instantaneously Gislaved took the floor as another team.

In the second frame, they played evenly with Engelholm, but as before the visitors raced ahead to set-point at 16-24. Gislaved knocked three-straight balls but came no closer than 19-25.

In the final set, GVK continued to play evenly with Engelholm. A couple pressured points sent the guests into match point, but the final score difference was only four balls.

Lisa Tannerfalk was named the best player, and shared her thoughts in an interview with Värnamo Nyheter:

"It felt pretty ok, despite the loss. There were times that we struggled in serve receive, but at the same time, Engelholm has some really great servers who pressured us well, and we did not challenge them enough with our serves. After the first set, we had a much needed wake-up call and I think we showed a lot of mental strength and toughness to respond as we did. The first set was really bad, we took a mental time out that Daniel pointed out in the 10-minute break that we weren't fully focused at the start of the match, and I'm really disappointed that we couldn't take a set or two, even win the match today, but I'm proud of the team that we were able to come back in the second and third and show that we can compete at a higher level for the future."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

"We are not affected by the score"

Gislaved VK did not find redemption for Saturday's loss.
The team fell against Holte on Sunday.

GVK lined up without a lot of starting players against Holte in the Öresundliga match played Sunday.

"Mathilda Carlsson got to play as an outside again and did well, Sofie Back jumped in as libero and had some great defensive plays, then we saw Elin Andersson in at the setter position and played great. Our Swedish players that stepped in really made great efforts," Magnusson said after the 0-3 loss (10-25, 20-25, 10-25).

He saw the game as a good training match.

"We are not affected by the scores, and it was smoother than shown. Now we focus on becoming fit and healthy in the team."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Joy announcement: "Can not describe"

Gislaved VK lost 0-3 against Lindesberg.
It didn't matter to Lina Johansson.

After a year spent recovering from her knee injury, she made two brief appearances in the match.
It did not help so much.

"I can hardly describe it. I was a bit nervous, but terribly excited. It was wonderful to pull on my jersey again."

364 days. As long as she had expected.

No pressure as she entered the match. Full of smiles.

"I am happy. It is certainly a loss today but personally it's great to be back," she said after the 12-25, 19-25, 22-25.

And it was a promising comeback. The feeling was there just like before.

She made three services.

One gave an ace, and a joyous roar.

"It was just joy then. It was so incredibly nice. All my nerves disappeared."

Lina Johansson revealed that she has retained her strength in serving. It gave the whole GVK a boost towards Lindesberg.

"It's really fun. She has fought hard. She did really well. We know that she has a good serve and a good understanding of the game. There are still more places that we can use her. She has not had it easy. She has not been able to participate in the exercises and it's mentally tough to be away so long. But it's great to know that she may be back," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

It was not enough to meet Lindesberg.

When GVK came to the floor, with Hanna Salomäki and Ester De Vries on the bench with injuries, Lindesberg had no major problems attacking the home defense.

It went a bit better in the second.

And in the third frame, GVK served much tougher and pressured Lindesberg to the end.

Mathilda Carlsson switched positions to take over Salomäki's place. Carlsson and Ebba Ekblad led the offense with 7 kills apiece from the left side.

And Meghan Sherman was named the home team's MVP for her efforts.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

"It was mentally tough"

Lina Johansson's injury has stopped nagging and now sees the light at the end of the tunnel

February 14, 2015. Valentine's Day.
Lina Johansson's knee gave out.
Here is her story of the way back.

Valentine's Day.

Home game.

RIG Falköping stands as the opponent.

Lina Johansson jumped to attack. Everything was going well. But when she landed, something happens.

"We don't really know what happened. We filmed it and I've been watching the movie a billion times. I got up and attacked, and on film, it looks like I landed well. Then the knee just buckled. It was like the knee decided, 'No, I can not lift you anymore'."

"At first I thought it was just a ligament strain. But it turned out later in the emergency room that it was the ACL. In total, it was the cruciate ligament, meniscus and knee was dislocated. With all that, the cartilage was completely shattered."

"Am I ready?"

It was the beginning of a long road back. When we meet, it is the end of January and just the day before Lina has been fully released to train again.

"There was great celebration with the team," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

"I was not prepared for Daniel to say: "You should go on the net now." It was like: "Oh, really? Am I ready for it?"

But she did, and continued the day after, and at the morning workout before the team's match against Svedala. But it has been long, as I said. And not entirely uncomplicated.

"There were two operations. The first in March, where we constructed a new cruciate ligament and fixed the cartilage. Then I had a problem during the summer, the knee crackled and felt like a cracker breaking when it bent. Then it turned out that the patella was not tracking correctly. So in October I went in for a new operation."

The injury came at the worst possible timing for her. It was Lina's first season in the elitserien team.

"Mentally, it has been difficult. But when you think back, it has already been a year. Time goes so quickly, but at times it has felt like it's been a hundred years. It was fortunate that it was towards the end of last season, I would have enough time to rehab for the start of this season, but then I got a little setback. It has nevertheless been good. I see the goal the whole time."

Staying in the moment

But she do not really know where the target lies.

"We have had many goals, but it was a while ago," she says, laughing.

"The goal has always been delayed a little. Now Per (Martinsson, physiotherapist) and Daniel try not to mention it and I've stopped nagging. I think they probably have an eye on where I should fit. I work in the present and take it as it comes. Per has said that maybe in the playoffs, I could start hitting, and so I began to take some swings now and then. It is better than we thought, it feels like."

Johansson has not lost volleyball. An important part of rehabilitation has been that she has been at all practices and games. It has become a sort of therapy for her.

"Gone up and down"

"I can honestly say that it has gone up and down. Some days were harder than others. But when I came into the gym again, I know this is what I want to do. Then it's just to work even harder. After New Year, I have seen the light in the tunnel. But it is not the easiest. I would not do it again. It had been hard enough to hurt himself again and try again."

And she's got a completely different view of volleyball.

"When you get to see the game from the sideline, the focus is on how they are doing and what I can learn from it. It's a totally different perspective."

"You learn the game without knowing it. Just to be there and see it. That is why they said: "We want you to come up to the practices so you do not lose it." Such a strange thing to say when I come to the practices so I do not lose volleyball, but then I was just standing and doing squats. But it felt good when to be part of it, makes it feel like not so long ago I was here. Since I have been here the whole time."

And she will probably continue to be there.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

GVK-American's Super Bowl Plan: "Seven-Layer Dip"

Sherman's tips for the year's biggest sporting event

Seven-layer dip, chips and chicken wings.
Tonight, Meghan Sherman misses home.
"Panthers will win," says volleyball player.

American football | Denver Broncos with years of championship experience against the youthful Carolina Panthers.

The stage is set for Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco the night of Monday Swedish time.

Gislaved VK's Meghan Sherman is one of several million TV viewers worldwide - and she is clear about the tip.

"I have always admired the Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning who has had an extremely successful career, but I can't help but cheer for the Panthers and Cam Newton. They have had a phenomenal season and it would be awesome if they won," says Sherman.

She was born and raised in the state of Florida, a state that has several NFL teams.

"My favorite team is the Miami Dolphins. Dan Marino was my idol when I was younger but it has been hard for the Dolphins these past years. Hopefully Ryan Tannehill can developed into another quality quarterback," she says.

But it is not just Super Bowl that is in focus.

Millions of dollars are spent on food and snacks for the annual match.

"In the US, we always had sort of a taco casserole, built with seven layers: taco meat, beans, lettuce, salsa, and cheese were a few ingredients," says the GVK setter.

But the dream menu does not end there ...

"Then we have chicken wings, chips and dips. We always have quite a buffet at home, haha."

Meghan Sherman studied at the University of Tampa, which is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I like the Bucs, too. In fact, one of my college teammate's father was just named head coach, which is really cool," said Meghan Sherman.

It is most likely that she will watch the Broncos-Panthers alone Monday night.

Her boyfriend and coach, Daniel Magnusson may join her.

"I think that it will be difficult to get some of girls from the team, with it being so late in the night," she says.

"I expect that it will be a fun and tight match, but the Panthers win by 21-13."

Friday, February 5, 2016

GVK collides with history

Nine losses in nine attempts.
Gislaveds VK could not stop the force of history.

GVK - HH 0-3: 19-25, 15-25, 23-25
Hylte/Halmstad has proven too difficult for GVK. Thursday night was the ninth loss in nine attempts by 19-25, 15-25 and 23-25.

But Gislaved did not go down easily.

"At times, we look great. There are many things to take with us."

Head coach Daniel Magnusson saw how GVK could, at times, keep pace with Hylte/Halmstad, despite star player Ester de Vries sidelined with an injury. Magnusson looked to Ebba Ekblad to fill the role at outside hitter. He saw Finnish outside Hanna Salomäki leading the team in defense and attacking with 8 kills. He saw Meghan Sherman doing what she could to spread the offense.

And saw how Mathilda Carlsson continued to develop forward.

"To be able to beat Hylte/Halmstad, we can't have any dips," says libero Jessica Lakatos, who thought the team had difficulty finding the energy after the victory against Svedala.

It gave the visiting team an opportunity to strike back quickly and mercilessly in the middle.

"There is no excuse. Hylte was the better team tonight," says Magnusson.

The home team will need to work on their serves and speed of the game to get closer to the top team.

It looked like it could be a set-win in the third, as the GVK put pressure on Hylte's setter, and took a lead 4-1. GVK walked up to 10-6 and 11-9.

But no further.

"In the third we executed our game plan well. But now we must ensure that all players get healthy so we can get up to speed in training again," says Magnusson.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

GVK will break the trend

Eight straight losses against derby rival.

March 23, 2013 was the last time GVK defeated Hylte/Halmstad.
"But we have confidence," says coach Magnusson.

Terese Bengtsson, Hanna Salomäki, and GVK have yet to reach a victory against Hylte/Halmstad.
Can they break the trend tonight?
Then, on March 29, GVK knocked Hylte/Halmstad in the fifth and decisive quarterfinals of the Championship playoffs.

Since then, the two teams have met eight times in the league. Eight times that H/H retired with victory and only twice has GVK taken a set from them.

One of those times came during the 2015 autumn season.

Now, however, the team has confidence in themselves. After three straight wins, with the most recent victory came against Svedala, the team is looking forward to the game.

"It's always great to meet Hylte. It has become a derby feeling, even though they play most of their matches in Halmstad now."

"It's been a while since we have beaten them, but at the same time, we carry confidence from the last games. After Christmas, we have delivered some good results," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

The visitors' advantage against GVK lies with their experience, according to Magnusson. GVK's advantage is the straight opposite.

"That's probably it. We just dive in head first. If we can enter the match with a good feeling and get the support from the crowd, we will put up a good fight. It's a free game, so with a little public support to give us an extra boost, we can go far."

The sicknesses continue. But there is no one who is eliminated.

"Ebba Ekblad has been at home and Meghan Sherman as well. They have no ball touches before the game and it's not optimal. And Ester de Vries' shoulder injury remains. But we expect them to play."

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.