Slovenia looking to qualify for FIVB Volleyball World Championship
The Slovenian team gathered for a short period of preparation on December 25 in Ljubljana. Head coach Luka Slabe had most of his top players, but middle-blocker Alen Pajenk is out with an injury sustained while playing for his club in Poland. Youngster Uroš Pavlović received his first call-up to the men’s senior team.
As part of their preparations for the upcoming World Championship qualifiers, the national team played two friendly matches against the strong Finnish team. They won one 3-1 (25-22, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23) and lost the other 3-0 (23-25, 18-25, 25-27).
In the January 3-5 qualifiers, Slovenia will play hosts Serbia, Portugal and Macedonia in Pool J in the Serbian city of Niš. Slabe acknowledges that European bronze medallists Serbia are the favourites to win the pool, but he isn’t giving up.
“Our goal is to qualify for the World Championships in Poland,” he stated. “Serbia are the clear-cut favourites in the pool, but we always go into matches aiming to win. Our initial goal is to win against Portugal and Macedonia and take at least one point against Serbia.”