Home » CRO W: From Zagreb to Japan: Croatian Women’s Volleyball Team Gears up for Volleyball Nations League and European Championship

CRO W: From Zagreb to Japan: Croatian Women’s Volleyball Team Gears up for Volleyball Nations League and European Championship

by WoV
source: Croatian Volleyball Federation

Following their training in Zagreb and initial friendly matches in Italy, the Croatian women’s volleyball team is now bound for Japan to commence their performances in the esteemed Volleyball Nations League (VNL). Beyond Japan, thrilling volleyball adventures also await us in Brazil and Thailand. At the pinnacle of the national team’s season in mid-August, the volleyball players will represent Croatia at the European Championship hosted by Italy.

Photo source: Croatian Volleyball Federation

Frane Žanić, the President of the Croatian Volleyball Federation, emphasized the demanding nature of the VNL, both from gameplay and financial-organizational aspects. The competition cost is around 800 thousand euros and demands the utmost standards and concentration from all involved. However, he assured that the players, team, and the Croatian Volleyball Federation are prepared for the challenges ahead. Žanić expressed his hopes of hosting such a significant tournament in the future, given the importance it holds for Croatian volleyball.

The Croatian team began its preparations on May 8th at the Volleyball House in Zagreb and recently played two friendly matches in Lanciano, near Pesaro, Italy. The team first squared off against Italy, the current European champions (1:3), followed by a match against Canada (1:3).

Ferhat Akbas, the coach of the Croatian women’s volleyball team, emphasized the team’s historical first-time participation in the VNL, affirming their ambition to achieve the best possible results. The main aim is to maintain their place in the VNL and secure an optimum position in the European Championship.

Croatia will compete in the VNL tournament in Japan alongside the host teams of Japan, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Germany, and China. Subsequent tournaments from June 13th to 18th will take place in China (Hong Kong) and Brazil (Brasília), where Croatia will compete against Brazil, the United States, Japan, Serbia, Germany, Thailand, and Korea. The final and most crucial week for the women’s team starts on June 27th and ends on July 2nd, featuring tournaments in Korea (Suwon) and Thailand (Bangkok). Croatia will then meet the national teams of Thailand, Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, and Turkey in Bangkok.

Team captain, Martina Šamadan, shared her optimism stating that after three weeks of preparations, the team is ready for the first VNL tournament in Japan. She highlighted the team’s youthful spirit and eagerness to compete, hoping to exhibit their best game and retain their position in the VNL.

After the VNL, the Croatian team will compete in the European Championship, from August 15th to September 3rd in Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Estonia.

The Croatian women’s volleyball team comprises of Lea Deak, Karla Antunović, Izabela Štimac, Tia Kovčo, Laura Miloš, Natalia Tomić, Dijana Karatović, Josipa Marković, Andrea Mihaljević, Nina Strize, Martina Šamadan, Ema Strunjak, Mirta Freund, and Viktoria Ana Trcol.

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