Tough Going For USVO

21 November 2007
Only two rounds of fixtures have been played in this season's EuroLeague Women, but US Valenciennes Olympic already have their backs to the wall.

The French champions have won Europe's elite competition twice before and were tipped to go far this campaign.

But they were drawn in a tricky Group C - which includes holders Spartak Moscow Region and former winners Gambrinus Brno - and have found it tough going so far.

They opened up with a 75-57 defeat at Belgian heavyweights Dexia Namur and followed it up with a 74-55 home loss to Czech Republic powerhouses Gambrinus.

Next up is a testing clash at Lotos Gdynia, the Polish team who have already beaten Spartak this campaign and took Gambrinus all the way last week.

USVO coach Herve Coudray, in his first season with the northerners, hopes the 70-64 victory over Tarbes in France's Ligue Feminine at the weekend will restore some confidence in his squad.

"We saw some good things in the final quarter against Tarbes," said the former USO Mondeville coach.

"We retained the lessons we learned following our match in Brno.

"It is reassuring to win, even if we aren't quite where we want to be yet. Our offense isn't quite at the right level.

"But this match will do a lot for us before the meeting with Gdynia."

USVO are undefeated in five outings in their domestic league, but another defeat in Europe would be a hammer-blow to their hopes of qualifying for the Eighth-Final Play-offs.

Only the top four in each group progress and USVO could be staring at a 0-3 record by the end of play on Thursday night.

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