Israeli women's volleyball team will take part in European finals.
By ALLON SINAI
For the first time in 43 years, the Israeli women’s volleyball team will take part in the final phase of a European competition this weekend.Israel faces Serbia on Saturday in the semifinals of the 2010 CEV European League final four in Ankara, Turkey and will be looking to continue its amazing progress of recent years against the 2007 European Championship silver medalists.“We have no secrets. We just work hard,” said Israel coach Arie Selinger, an international volleyball legend, who guided the US women’s team to a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics and the Dutch men’s side to a silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games.“We started from zero and at the moment we are ranked between the 8th and 12th best teams in Europe. We are doing better than I expected, but this is just the beginning and I’m more concerned with where we will be in three years time.”Selinger took charge of the team in June 2007, starting what is now known as the Selinger project.After the Olympic Committee of Israel, the Israel Volleyball Association and an anonymous donator provided the financing, Selinger selected 22 players and the team began training four hours a day, six days a week.“It’s the first time my team qualified for the final four of the CEV European League. It’s history repeating itself, since I was the coach when Israel played in the European Championships in Turkey in 1967,” said Selinger.“I have to admit that Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey are very strong teams, but we’ll try our best.”
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