Europe Cup Women | 15 Nov 2023

GALONJA: ”Every Point Felt Like an Eternity”

After two thrilling long-distance clashes, Museo De La Almendra Francisco Morales secured their spot in Round Four of the Europe Cup Women. In the return leg of the Round of 16, the Spanish club emerged victorious in a nail-biting five-match duel against Poland’s Czestochowa Bebetto AZS UJD.

"It was a very close and intense match. The team from Poland changed their lineup to try to beat us 3:1,” explained Marija GALONJA.

Chinese player JIAQI Meng paved the way for success. “In the opening duel, my Chinese teammate won 3:0, playing quite well. After that, I lost to BILENKO 3:1, and I feel regret again because I was leading in the third game and ended up losing. Patrica SANTOS lost to Anastasiya DYMYTRENKO, who played very well. The fourth match was crucial; Meng won against BILENKO in a close match 3-2, 6-4, and for me, every point felt like an eternity.”

GALONJA admitted her heart was beating at 100. “In my last match, I think I played very well and entered the game very confidently, and it stayed that way until the end. Now we are so happy. We have never come this far in Europe before."

Photo: David FAJULA

The action today continued with the second leg of the duel between Spanish GIRBAU VIC T.T. and Romania’s CSM Constanta, which saw the Romanian club progress to the next stage after two wins.

It was very similar to the opening leg with the same result. Japan’s Airi ABE remained unbeaten, and all three Constanta’s players, Elena and Alina ZAHARIA, overcame Charlotte CAREY, while Bianca MEI ROSU prevailed against Camila MOSCOSO.

Portugal’s Clube Ténis de Mesa de Mirandela also recorded a second win in the third stage against MIRÓ Ganxets Reus.

Annamaria ERDELYI beat both Elvira Fiona RAD and Paulina VEGA, while Ines MATOS prevailed against Renata SHYPSHA.

“We expected it would not be as difficult as in the opening leg because they came without their two best players, but even so… For me personally, it was more challenging than last time since I had to play against Pauline. We know each other very well; we train together here in Mirandela. Now, I am so happy that I won both my matches and that we are through to the next round,” said ERDELYI.

Museo De La Almendra Francisco Morales - Czestochowa Bebetto AZS UJD 3 -2

JIAQI Meng – Alicja LEBEK 3- 0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-4)

Marija GALONJA - Tetyana BILENKO 1-3 (8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 1-11)

Patricia SANTOS – Anastasiya DYMYTRENKO 0-3 (10-12, 6-11, 6-11)

JIAQI Meng – Tetyana BILENKO 3-2 (14-12, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 6-4)

Marija GALONJA - Alicja LEBEK 3-0 (11-5, 11-3, 11-9)

GIRBAU VIC T.T. - CSM Constanta 2-3

Airi ABE - Alina ZAHARIA 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-3)

Charlotte CAREY - Elena ZAHARIA 2-3 (9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 2-6)

Camila MOSCOSO - Bianca MEI ROSU 0-3 (8-11, 12-14, 4-11)

Airi ABE - Elena ZAHARIA 3-2 (12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11)

Charlotte CAREY - Alina ZAHARIA 0-3 (9-11, 5-11, 10-12)

Clube Ténis de Mesa de Mirandela - MIRÓ Ganxets Reus 3-1

Annamaria ERDELYI - Elvira Fiona RAD 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-2)

Matilde PINTO - Paulina VEGA 0-3 (8-11, 10-12, 5-11)

Ines MATOS - Renata SHYPSHA 3-1 (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4)

Annamaria ERDELYI - Paulina VEGA 3-1 (11-6, 14-16, 12-10, 11-9)