YESSSS WE DID IT!!
Last Sunday (01-05-2014), both our Belgian masculine and feminine volleyball teams won their qualification game to allow us a place in the World Cup in Poland!
© photo EPA
The men’s team, the Red Dragons, beat the French 3 sets to 2 on Sunday and end the preliminary stage top of their group (they were in the pool against Belorussia, Spain & France). It was not easy for the coach since he couldn’t count on his libero Stijn Dejonckheere, as well as Pieter Verhees due to an injury and also a non-qualified player Hendrik Tuerlinckx and finally Frank Depestele and Sam Deroo who just got back from injuries.
It was a very intense match where both teams played super well, according to me. However, a few refereeing mistakes were made. The team’s Coach Dominique Baeyens told the VRT sport that “We have made a remarkable step”. Dominique Baeyens was himself a player in the 1978 Volleyball World Cup. This is the first qualification of Belgium since 1978, which makes it even more intense!
Our Yellow Tigers also qualified for the World Cup, beating the Poles 3-0 on Sunday! They were placed in pool K against Spain, Switzerland and Poland. Gert Vande Broek’s girls were more than capable of beating these teams, as they recently received a bronze medal at the European Championship.
© Ringier Axel Springer
For a small country as we are, we can be proud of the potential that we possess. Volleywood, a blog site that covers the sport of volleyball in various aspects (tournaments, athletes, results, statistics, images, news and developments), recently voted for Stijn Dejonckheere as libéro of the year. Moreover, they also mentioned Frauke Dirickx as one of the best setter in the world. Finally, still according to volleywood, Lise Van Hecke was recognized as one of the best opposite in the world.
Even if volleyball is not a well-known sport, we can be proud of them and the teams that represent Belgium. I know I am!