Red Dragon Lennert Van Elsen is wary of eager Achel: “With the support of their fanatical supporters, things can suddenly go very quickly”

Volleyball Lotto Volley League Haasrode Leuven

Lennert Van Elsen: “We have to show the right mentality in Achel and hopefully we can return with the three points.” — © Well

In a week from the unapproachable leader to the last of the competition, there is little time left for Haasrode Leuven to change the gun. Achel may seem like a bite-sized chunk, yet the Limburgers have often played the tormentor.

Kenny Hennes

A double or a good feeling? After the 1-3 loss against Roeselare, the VHL players were clearly in two minds. Some were proud that they made Roeselare doubt. Others were slightly disappointed, because there might have been a point or even a tiebreak and with the latter you never know what will come out.

Center player Lennert Van Elsen belonged to the latter group last Saturday evening. However, he could look back on an excellent match, because after three sets he scored eleven points at a miraculous average of one hundred percent, even though he and his teammates went down in the last set.

Crucial period

“Especially that second set is still on my stomach. We had enough chances to make it 1-1, but we didn’t finish them. That is deadly against Roeselare, even if we come back to 1-2”, says the Red Dragon. “I am happy about the way in which we collectively put pressure on the West Flemish people. At times we felt we were hurting them. Only Roeselare can fall back on incredible stability and we had too much trouble keeping Kukartsev under control. That Argentinian was not only strong offensively (28 points, ed.)also blocking, he often cleverly pinned us down.”

Maybe the team from Leuven should take advantage of the fact that this season, next to Guibertin and Maaseik, they are only the third team to be able to steal a set from Roeselare. That fact alone should give confidence for the coming weeks. A crucial period in which VHL wants to maintain its place in the top four so that it can qualify for the Champion Play-offs with a good starting position. First mission: grab the three points in Achel, always a formidable opponent for the people of Leuven. Remember the elimination in the belle for the play-offs in 2020 and the double defeat in the Challenge Final Four at the end of last season.

“We should not be disappointed with their lesser first round, because we know that they have had many problems. In the meantime, things are running a lot better there and I think Staples, for example, is a very dangerous player. And honestly, playing in Achel is never a joke. With the support of their fanatical supporters, things can suddenly go very quickly, especially when they get into their game. But we know we shouldn’t win a beauty contest there. We just have to show the right mentality there on Saturday and hopefully we can return with the three points.”

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