Lodz (dpa) – The fourth victory in the fourth match in the Olympic qualifiers sparked mixed feelings among German volleyball players. The team narrowly beat the Slovenians 3-2. “We are very happy to have achieved four wins,” captain Anna Bojani said on Wednesday evening in Lodz. “You have to look at the overall situation. We kept everything open in the last three matches.”
But the 29-year-old experienced some shortcomings before the decisive matches in the Olympic qualifiers in Poland, as she did in a similar match that ended in a 3-2 draw against South Korea on Tuesday. “We couldn’t really play a good level of volleyball today,” Lebra said. “But we showed great mental strength and came back in the important moments.”
Matches against Poland, Italy and the United States in the coming days will show which interpretation was more conclusive: that the Germans’ efforts against weaker opponents were a bad omen. Or that the team gained the self-confidence necessary for difficult tasks with its mental strength in difficult times.
Two Olympic tickets will be awarded
As was often the case in the tournament, the team missed the start against Slovenia. “It will be a challenge in the next matches here. We need to be more relaxed and brave from the beginning and not allow ourselves to be disturbed so quickly,” said outside striker Lina Alsmayer. Even in the tiebreaker, the game looked almost lost by 5:10 before the DVV women responded with eight straight points. Having this situation could be very important later, Bojani said.
In the Group of Eight, all teams play against each other once. Two Olympic tickets will be awarded for the Paris 2024 Games. Germany is still an outsider, but it has fulfilled its mandatory tasks.
The next match is against the home team on Friday (5.30pm/Volleyballworld.tv). The Polish national team lost all three previous matches against the Poles this year, the last of which was the round of 16 match in the European Championship. “We are definitely in the underdog role,” Bojani said. “We have to stabilize our volleyball fundamentals and do the little things a little better.” Thailand showed on Wednesday how they can beat Poland (3:2).
But even if they win on Friday, the Germans may still need to beat the big favorites from Italy and the United States. It will be difficult. “The tiebreaker is the best example of how hard we fight,” Alsmaier said optimistically. “Our dream still exists.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa:230921-99-277695/2
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