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."