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2010 Girls' Youth Olympic Games
Singapore
21 - 26 August 2010

 
 Press Release
Belgium rally for girls' Volleyball title

Belgium captured in a happy moment after winning the gold medal at Youth Olympic games 2010
Singapore, Singapore, August 26, 2010 - It wasn't as much a pep talk as a simple statement of fact when Belgium coach Julien Van De Vvyer spoke to his girls Volleyball team after they struggled early on against the United States in their gold medal match on Thursday.

"I told them all they lost was one set, and they had not lost the game,"' he said.
 
From that point on, it was a complete reverse on the court at Toa Payoh Sports Hall as everything that had not been working for the Belgians started to click, while the United States saw their game fall apart.
 
Belgium won the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games final 3-1 (17-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-12).
 
"We never gave up. It is the gold medal game and you can't give up, and we never gave up," said Elien Ruysschaert (BEL).
 
The USA's Katherine Mitchell said the Belgians deserved the title.

2010 Girls' Youth Olympic Games

"They have an ego and they are good. They are a strong team."
 
The win was sweet revenge as the Belgians reversed a loss to the USA earlier in the tournament.
 
One of the keys to their success was a change in strategy.
 
"We went with two setters, which gave us a lot of options," said Van De Vvyer. "I think that made a big difference."  
 
The USA girls had everything going for them in the first set, when the Belgians looked disorganised on the court.
 
The momentum switched in the second and there was a point won by the Belgians in the third game that illustrated their resolve to win. Captain Ilka Van De Vvyer dived across the court to get her arm on the ball before it hit the court. She bounced back onto her feet, readied herself for a smash and sent a blistering spike deep into the USA court for a point.
 
"That was a big play," said Laura Heyrman, Belgium.
 
While the Belgians celebrated, the USA girls were raw with emotion.
 
"I'm devastated. It's been the hardest game," said Samantha Cash, fighting back the tears. "We didn't commit to do what we planned to do. We lost focus and we couldn't come back."
 
Pragmatic USA coach Rodney Wilde talked about the differences between the loss to Belgium compared to their triumph over them earlier in the week.
 
"Our passing started breaking down, so it was not good enough to keep our offence going and Belgium was very aggressive throughout the whole match in both their serving and digging a lot of balls," he said.
 
The Americans' attack was hampered by the absence of a key player, injured striker Elizabeth McMahon.
 
"When you lose your top scorer that obviously affects your game. We were just not able to overcome the injury. Those things happen in sports," said Wilde.
 
The American coach sees a silver lining in his team's runner-up finish.  
 
"I am proud that we were able to put together a team that was able to medal in such a short period."
 
The Belgian team, who have worked together for much longer, were taking their time savouring the fruit of their labours.
 
"I don't think we have realised it yet. This is good, very very good. I like it a lot," beamed Ruysschaert. 


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