Trembling victories towards Paris
Volleyball players prove to be mentality miracles
September 21, 2023, 2:55 p.m
Even if it was close, the volleyball players fulfilled their mandatory tasks in the Olympic qualification. But the strongest opponents are only now coming. The dream lives on. Thanks to an impressive mentality. That will also be important in the next game.
The fourth victory in the fourth game in the Olympic qualification caused mixed feelings among the German volleyball players. The team narrowly beat the Slovenians 3-2. “We are overjoyed with four wins. You have to look at the overall situation. We kept everything open for the last three games,” said captain Anna Pogany on Wednesday evening in Lodz.
But the 29-year-old saw shortcomings before the decisive games at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Poland, as she did in the similarly close 3-2 against South Korea on Tuesday. “We didn’t really manage to play a good level of volleyball today,” said the Libera. “But we showed great mental strength and came back in the important moments.”
The games against Poland, Italy and the USA in the coming days will show which interpretation was more conclusive: that the Germans’ effort against weaker opponents was a bad omen. Or that the team gained the necessary self-confidence for the difficult tasks with their mental strength in crunch time.
Dismal record against Poland
As has often been the case in the tournament, the team missed the start against Slovenia. “It will be a challenge for the next games here. We need to be more relaxed and courageous right from the start and not let ourselves get unsettled so quickly,” said outside attacker Lina Alsmeier. Even in the tiebreak, the game seemed almost lost with a 5:10 deficit before the DVV women responded with eight points in a row. The existence of this situation could be very important later, Pogany said.
In the group of eight, all teams play against each other once. Two Olympic tickets for Paris 2024 will be awarded. Germany is still an outsider, but has fulfilled its mandatory tasks.
On Friday (5.30 p.m./Volleyballworld.tv) The next game is against the hosts. All three previous games against the Poles this year were lost – most recently the European Championship round of 16. “We’re definitely in the underdog role,” Pogany said. “We have to stabilize our volleyball basics 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 would probably still need a win against the big favorites from Italy and the USA. It’s going to be difficult. “The tiebreak is the best example of how hard we fought,” Alsmeier said optimistically. “Our dream lives on.”