The reigning European Champions will be favourites heading to Split, but after a disappointing 5th place finish at the World Championships, Spain will need to find some a bit of form at the upcoming European Championships to regain some lost confidence.
In their quest to win a third European Championship gold medal, it will fall on their top performers to utilise all the quality and experience at their disposal, which shouldn’t be a problem for Bea Ortiz, the MVP from the last European Championships, who reflects on that performance:
“Winning the 2020 European Championship was a pride as a team, since gold is the consequence of a job well done, but we continue with the same desire to win year after year. And the MVP is a trophy for the work of the whole team, even if it is an individual trophy.”
The 26-year-old superstar, who this summer re-joined her former team, CN Sabadell, says her team have rallied together since Budapest:
“It has been a very tough summer after losing in the World Championships quarterfinals, but we have prepared very hard during this time to win gold in the European Championship, so we arrived in the best form. The 5th position in the world championship was hard and we did not expect it, but it will help us to see the mistakes we made and to analyse what we did wrong. For this reason, we believe that we will do well to face the European Championship with maximum ambition.”
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But since Budapest, Spain has bounced back well. Their impressive performance at the Sardinia Cup will reassure the squad that they are a force to be reckoned with.
“It is evident that the Sardinia tournament gives morale to the team, since we came from a very hard preparation in Sierra Nevada, and we worked very hard, so it is always good to do a tournament like this and do it well. It gives a point of confidence to continue working on the set-up.”
Many teams arriving in Split have made several changes to their rosters. Spain is not expected to do so. Ortiz is content with the consistency:
“Sometimes it is not necessary to change the team but to change things in the game, not as much as the players themselves. You have to work on the team game.”
Paula Camus, Annie Espar, Laura Ester, Judith Forca Ariza, Maica Garcia, Irene Gonzalez, Paula Leiton, Cristina Nogue, Pili Pena, Nona Perez, Paula Prats, Elena Ruiz, Martina Terre
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