Their new coach, Vital Heinen, predicted that German volleyball players would survive the group stage, but would then have a very difficult time at the World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. So far, Belgium, who coached a women’s team for the first time after 15 years as men’s volleyball coach, has been right. DVV selection has advanced to the second round, but after two victories against Bulgaria and Kazakhstan initially in Arnhem, the team around captain Jennifer Janiska has recently run out of breath: Henen’s team against world champion Serbia in ód. They lost their last three group games in the U.S. (0:3), to Olympic champions USA (0:3) and most recently Canada (2:3).
While the first two losses were bearable, the tie-break defeat against Canada hurts, especially when all points are carried over to the second round. We may have lost a bit of strength,” said winger Janiska: “Tight rallies always went in the Canadian direction at the end. It’s really annoying.” DVV Selection had already led the 2–0 set against the Canadians, but then lost only one point in the fifth set.
In the intermediate round, the German, who has never won a medal at the World Cup, will now have to jump from eighth to fourth in his group to reach the quarter-finals. Its opponents are Turkey on Tuesday, Thailand on Wednesday, Dominican Republic on Friday and Poland on Saturday. “Let’s see if we can move forward again,” Henen said after a recent disappointing performance.
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