Hammerschorsch powers Team Germany to second straight-sets home win


Photo CEV

On Tuesday Germany had started their journey at the mens European Olympic Qualifier with a straight-sets win over Belgium but their coach Vital Heynen was not that happy with the performance of his players. On Wednesday the hosts delighted 3,500 fans at the Max-Schmeling-Halle with a display of world-class Volleyball and Gyrgy Grozer being once again the undisputed man of the match. The Hammerschorsch recorded a personal tally of 19 points en-route to a compelling 3-0 victory over 2015 World League silver medallists Serbia (25-20, 26-24, 25-20). Germany will now rest on Thursday and complete their duties in the group stage on Friday when they take on world champions Poland, but with their second consecutive straight-sets win they have already secured their promotion to the semis coming up.

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Germany vs. Serbia 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-20)

In such short tournament, where every single rally counts, Germany and Serbia were both supposed to perform their best as they made their second appearance at Max-Schmeling-Halle on Wednesday. The hosts were vying for their second victory in the competition following Mondays 3-0 win over Belgium whereas Serbia had to regroup after their 1-3 loss to Poland. The teams exchanged the lead back and forth up until the moment Germany changed gear and imposed their supremacy with Gyrgy Grozer, Christian Fromm and Denys Kaliberda joining forces for an impressive positive run by the home team (15-8). Serbia coach Nikola Grbic decided to make some changes to his starting six with setter Aleksa Brdjovic and outside spiker Marko Ivovic replacing Nikola Jovovic and Uros Kovacevic, respectively. These moves did not produce the desired effect and Germany continued their show to cruise to a 25-20 set win which could have been even more dominant if they had not relaxed a bit towards the end of the period.

This set loss was some kind of wake-up call for Serbia and the silver medallists from the 2015 World League played with a lot more consistency in the second period where they put on a good fight and were able to keep the pace of their opponent. After the score was levelled at 20-all, Germany scored two in a row to get a small edge as the period entered its crucial time. Serbia lived up to their fame being known as a hard nut to crack and were the first to claim set point. Grozer answered back to make it 24-24 and a technical fault by Serbia provided Germany with their first opportunity for 2-0. 3,500 fans were almost standing on their feet during an exciting final rally where Germany emerged victorious with a superb block by Denys Kaliberda on Serbias star Aleksandar Atanasijevic (26-24).

This was a big blow for Serbia who trailed right from the start of the third set (8-4) but the players in red shirts did not give in, clawing back to restore the balance at 15 all. The Herculean Gyrgy Grozer prompted a Serbian time-out with an ace for a German lead at 18-17 and it was again the Hammerschorsch who smashed the ball down for 20-17 Germanys way. Home mentor Vital Heynen won a video challenge which showed a net fault by the Serbian block (23-19) and this practically paved the way towards the 25-20 win sealed by Denys Kaliberda.

I am very happy and the fact that we won 3-0 over Serbia is for me quite surprising, Grozer said after the match. We delivered our best especially at crucial times; block and defence were today the key to our success and we also showed that we have strong nerves.

His mentor Vital Heynen added: Yesterday we probably felt the pressure, but today we quickly found our way into the match. We always set the pace, almost from start to end. We always have to believe that we can make it happen [referring to his teams qualification for the Rio Olympics]. That is why the two first matches were so important and now we have two chances of claiming one of the top three spots in the final standing of the tournament.

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Hinweis: Dies ist ein aktueller Bericht vom 06.01.2016!

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