German magic continues in Rio

German magic continues in Rio
Fecha de publicación: 
5 October 2023
Imagen principal: 

Less than 24 hours after beating Brazil in front of their home fans, Germany performed another small miracle in Rio de Janeiro and took down another volleyball giant at the Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Wednesday.

Looking fresh on the court, the Germans kept the rhythm they had displayed against the South Americans to defeat Italy 3-1 (26-24, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23) at the Maracanãzinho and move to first place in Pool A as the only undefeated team in the event.

It was the first German victory over the Italians in more than six years as their last triumph had happened at the 2017 European Championship – the world champions won all seven duels held in the period.

The top scorer of the Olympic qualifier with an impressive 105 points, veteran opposite György Grozer put on another masterclass, leaving the court with a whooping 31 points against the Italians, having registered 27 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Moritz Reichert and middle blocker Anton Brehme added 12 points each.

"It's hard to describe what's happening this week, especially after we didn't have great results in the two tournaments we played in the summer (the VNL and the European Championship)," said Brehme. "We're riding a wave of emotions and are all very happy now, but we'll continue to take it day by day and hopefully things end well for us."

Italy (ITA) vs. Germany (GER) men - Pool A #7242947

The 38-year-old Grozer was again the main piece in the German offense

Italy were led by opposite Yuri Romanò, who scored 16 points, and outside hitters Alessandro Michieletto and Daniele Lavia, who had 14 and 12, respectively.

With four wins and 12 points, the Germans have passed Italy, who have three wins and nine points, and now have three more matches to book their tickets to Paris and return to the Olympics for the first time since London 2012. To do that, they need to finish among the top two teams in the pool, on Sunday.

Following a day off on Thursday, they will play Czechia on Friday, Qatar on Saturday and Ukraine on Sunday. The first two encounters will begin at 20:30 local time (03:30 UTC, the next morning), while their last match is scheduled for 17:00 local time (00:00 UTC).

Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament - Match Schedule and Results

In the first match of the day in Rio, Czechia triumphed 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20) over Iran to get their first victory. Outside hitter Lukas Vasina and opposite Jan Hadrava carried the Czech offense with 26 and 22 points, respectively.

Iran (IRI) vs. Czechia (CZE) men - Pool A #7239579

Hadrava hits during the Czech victory over Iran

Later, Cuba secured their third win and passed Italy, moving up to second place with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-16) sweep of Qatar. Star outside hitter Miguel Angel Lopez produced 12 points, three more than middle blocker Javier Concepcion.

In the last match of the day, hosts Brazil were pushed to five sets, but overcame Ukraine 3-2 (36-38, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 15-11) to remain alive in the tournament. Opposite Darlan de Souza led all scorers with 23 points (20 kills, three aces), while Ukrainian outside hitter Illia Kovalov added 20 to his side, with 18 kills and two blocks.

After a day off on Thursday, competition resumes on Friday, with four more matches at the Maracanãzinho.

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