April 16, 2024

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Mark Willems: “Even in the final of the CEV Cup, Roeselare certainly has a chance” |  volleyball

Mark Willems: “Even in the final of the CEV Cup, Roeselare certainly has a chance” | volleyball

Roeselaar unceremoniously grabbed Piacenza’s scalp on Thursday in the CEV Cup semi-final. Our volleyball journalist Mark Williams was there in Italy. “Sometimes you have to be lucky, but Roeselaar imposed it himself,” he looked back on the match.

Mark Willems is honest about how he felt about the match: “I didn’t expect it,” he says. “I thought Roeselare would lose 3-0 or 3-1 and that will depend on how they play and whether they have a chance in the Golden Group.”

In the first two groups it was clear that Piacenza was the leader yesterday. “Due to the great storage pressure of the Italians, Roeselare didn’t really participate. If they also lost the third set in this way, I think it was difficult to change that.”

But in the third set, things suddenly started looking up in Roeselare. “I really think the players have had in their minds for a long time that they have to do this in the Gold Group,” says Williams.

This should not be attributed to luck. Nor is it the first time Roeselare has beaten an Italian team or made life miserable.

Mark Williams

In such a golden group it’s simple: all or nothing. “In Piacenza 6-3 it looked over. But then it became 6-6 and I saw the Italians’ doubts. They didn’t know what was happening. Doubt is a strange creature, even if you have Olympic or World Cup medals. Then suddenly a lot can be done for the opponent.”

“Roeselare started playing much better in that golden group, with more risks. Just use it. Of course you have to be lucky sometimes, but Roeselare imposed it himself. To his credit, Piacenza started having doubts.”

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“We cannot attribute this to luck. There is something behind it. It is also not the first time that Roeselare has beaten an Italian team or made life miserable. Roeselare has a European reputation. So it is no coincidence that this happened.”

“I don’t think Roeselare has a chance in the final.”

How should we appreciate Roeselare’s performance? “Piacenza is really a big Italian club. This team was bought together to play champions and recently won the Italian Cup. This result is something to talk about,” confirms Mark Willems.

Roeselare will soon meet another Italian star in the final: Modena. “Roeselare has the advantage that they can play the second leg for their own people. The crowd will be all behind it. I heard it scrambled for tickets. The hall is already sold out.”

“Modena is a team with world-class players, like the Brazilians’ passer or the French star Irvine N’Gapeth. It’s a team of the same caliber as Piacenza. Individually they are stronger than Roeselare, but you also have to do it as a team. I think Roeselare is definitely not without a chance in the final,” Williams concludes.