Best middleman at the start of the season, Laszlo De Paepe (Haasrode Leuven), crosses swords with Maaseik in a cup thriller: “With a win, the road to the final is open”

Volleyball Cup of Belgium Haasrode Leuven

Laszlo De Paepe is enjoying his fifth season at VHL. “Look, I feel great and I’m in the right place more and more often. If I can continue that line against Maaseik, it will be great.” — © Well

The most interesting quarter-final in the Belgian Cup? Undoubtedly Maaseik against Haasrode Leuven on Saturday evening. Why? The Limburgers are looking for revenge after the unexpected blow in Guibertin, while the people of Leuven are overflowing with confidence after an admirable six out of six in the competition.

“It feels good, but we are not yet where we want to be,” says centerman Laszlo De Paepe after an intensive training in the Leuven Sportoase, the new home of the Leuven residents since this season. “Even though we have not lost a set yet this season and we can speak of a flying start, there is certainly still room for improvement. Especially in our service.”

This became clear for a while against Ghent, but certainly also in the cup match against Antwerp, where the people of Leuven made things unnecessarily difficult for themselves. On the other hand, there is a limited error rate, a deadly efficient attack in moneytime and an excellent middle compartment with De Paepe and newcomer Filip Madjunkov as central pillars. “Without detracting from the talent of his predecessor Lennert Van Elsen (who moved to Roeselare, ed.)Filip inspires the entire team through his presence on and off the field. Have you seen how he screams after a point? That gives the team a lot of drive.”

De Paepe clearly feels happy, as the statistics prove. Offensively 7 out of 8 against Antwerp and 5 out of 7 against Ghent and with 6 out of 6 killblocks, he is currently the best blocker in the competition. “Real? Then we will try to keep it that way,” said the Leuven midfielder who is enjoying his fifth season at VHL. “I am now one of the seniors of the team, together with Daan De Saedeleer and Simon Peeters. Look, I feel great and I’m in the right place more and more often. If I can continue that line against Maaseik, it will be great.”

First real test

In any case, the experienced De Paepe speaks about the Limburg record champion with great respect. Even if the undersigned points out that Maaseik’s armor is showing cracks after the 3-1 defeat in Guibertin. Although the absence of the sick libero Martin Perin may have had something to do with that. “But is that an advantage to play against Maaseik? The defeat in Guibertin actually makes them more dangerous, because they will want to prove themselves against us. Although we are certainly ready for our first real test of the season. We really have our sights set on the cup. If we win against Maaseik, either Menen or Borgworm will wait. With all due respect, then the road to the final is open. In any case, we are looking forward to this match with great confidence and are fully committed to winning.”

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