Germany - Volleyball Bundesliga (VBL) 2017/18

  • By the way, rumours say Berlin were helped by officials during their first season win at home against Herrsching ;) Things don't look well there at all, it seems.

  • I am kind of out of the world right now and I could only follow stats these last few days. Berlin's dreadful start is worth talking about, although we have to admit that their first two matches in the season were against difficult opponents. Dueren should create trouble this campaign. Who knows, after many recent attempts by Moculescu and last year by Heynen, perhaps the time has finally come to see a new champion in Germany. It's way too early now, of course. United Volleys also look well on paper, I will follow their games when I find some time. I was also waiting for Alpen Volleys' start. It leaves a bittersweet taste that, correct me if I am wrong, only the current second setter, the Bulgarian Georgi Topalov who is slow for that level, to be honest, was not part of Tirol and is the only "German" reinforcement. More than 80% of the roster + the head coach come directly from Tirol, but that was agreed on during the summer months. We also talked about it here.

    Looking at the stats, I can't just miss it - Andreas Takvam played as an OH for Friedrichshafen?

    Yes, i am curious on Berlin's further development too and no, they don't look well right now. As i already said, they lost some depth in the roster and now, even more than last year, they depend on Carroll and Kromm, who both haven't performed well so far. Additionally Kühner doesn't seem to embrace his new role as "first setter" . I am afraid van Haarlem won't be able to add much quality from the bench. Still they should have enough quality to controll most of the teams in the league but as it looks right now, United Volleys could become dangerous for them. Friedrichshafen for sure is the clear favourite for the title this year.

    Speaking of Friedrichshafen and Takvam, yes, Heynen is trying to convert him into an OH. Quite risky move for Takvam personally as imho it is questionable whether he can reach a really great level on this position. So far it still looks like "work in progress". By the way, his substitue Jakob Günthör reached great numbers (7 blocks and hitting 11/12) again in yesterdays win at Netzhoppers. His and Sossenheimers development under Heynen's guidance is amazing!

    I am quite happy too, that obviously, Lüneburg has managed to assemble a very decent team again. The way they crushed Düren yesterday was a bit surprising. The new canadian libero Koslowsky seems to be a very good receiving libero, something they lacked last year. Still worth to mention is the 100% success rate of both MBs in yesterdays match. But lets wait and see what will happen, when they play a decent team "on the road".

  • ..... Additionally Kühner doesn't seem to embrace his new role as "first setter" . I am afraid van Haarlem won't be able to add much quality from the bench. ....

    According to WoV the transfer of Pierre Pujol to Berlin is a done deal.

    Unless there are no injuries involved, this transfer doesn't leave Berlin's season planning in a good light and surely is a slap in the face for Kühner and van Harlem. I haven't followed Pujol during last years but if he is healthy he should improve Berlin of course.

    Good news of the day:
    After they already started with the woman's Bundesliga, Sport1 will also show some men's matches on free TV.

    Schedule (Wednesdays, 19 CET):

    22th Nov.: United Volleys vs. Berlin
    29th Nov.: Berlin vs. Hypo Tirol Alpenvolleys
    3rd Jan. : United Volleys vs. Friedrichshafen
    10th Jan.: Hypo Tirol vs. Friedrichshafen
    24th Jan.: Berlin v. Friedrichshafen
    21th Feb.: Friedrichshafen vs. United Volleys
    21st March: tba


    Dutch article in which Van Haarlem confirms he is forced to leave the club.

    "The president of the club decided to buy/hire a new setter. Apparently it's possible to do this kind of things when you have the money. The other setter (Kühner) will stay in Berlin, but I´m forced to leave. So, after nearly two months I'm done here. Without even getting a fair chance. One time, I got the chance to play and delivered a solid match. I can't chance anything. It's quite bizarre, but apparently this is the way it goes in pro volleyball. Now I want to get done with this as soon as possible, next I will look out for a new club where I can find the pleasure to play volleyball again."

    When he was asked about Milano, he denied. "There hasn't been any concrete interest"

  • Thanks for posting...

    Not the first and surely not the last time that stuff like this happens. Good to know whats behind this often cited "in mutual understanding" blabla. I just hope van Haarlem can negotiate a financial compensation and/or finds a new club quickly.

    But the "case Tillié" has shown that it can also go the other way round. I hope there won't be much whining from Berlin's side, once a player may decide to break a contract. Imho, if Volleyball wants to be treated seriously, things like that shouldn't be "daily business"......

  • Putting aside the "ethical" side of Berlin's setter move, Pujol's transfer could truly develop into a good decision for Berlin. He already came to help in Berlin's cup match, when Düren already led by 2:0. With him on court, Berlin could still turn around the match. Also in yesterdays Bundesliga match against Lüneburg he came in for Kühner in a critical moment and helped Berlin to win the match.

    Other random observations from the league so far:

    • Friedrichshafen looks like the best team by far, at the moment. It is still early in the season but they really look good :thumbup:
    • Herrsching seems to have a very decent team this year too. Even if they lost in Berlin and Frankfurt, they have shown good performances and lately beat Alpenvolleys twice in cup and league. Sladecek is a really good setter :teach:
    • There are again some younger german players who show up. For example Herrsching's Tim Peter (OH) and Christoph Marks (Op), Jakob Günthör (MB) in Friedrichshafen and also Tim Grozer had decent stats for Rottenburg lately. Also Moritz Karlitzek and David Sossenheimer prove again that they are serious candidates for a spot in NT next summer.
    • After some acclimatisation, Yanagida played some great matches for Bühl lately. Meanwhile, to please his japanese fans, Bühl delivers their news also in english :lol:
  • Tonight, the first clash between, as i suppose, Top3 teams of the league will take place. United Volleys will play against Berlin at 19.00 CET in Frankfurt. It will be the first match for decades which will be televised on free TV (Sport1), so a good match would be highly appreciated.

    With the introduction of Pujol, Berlin has gained some additional strength as he has already proven that he can make the team better, coming from the bench. Maybe he will even start today. Berlin's big guns, Kromm and Carrol, haven't found real stability yet. Tonight would be a good moment to start.

    Speaking of United Volleys, their inexperienced receiving line (Karlitzek, Zenger, Aciobanitei) could be a critical point for them. Sebastian Schwarz could help here, but reportedly he is still injured. Once they don't suffer too much in this department, they should have the weapons, offensively and defensively, to endanger Berlin and even win the match. Overall, their performance tonight might indicate how far they can go this year.

    streams: (TV, german IP)…ain-vs-berlin-recycling_3

  • Beating Berlin becomes the "new normal" 8o :white:

    The guys in the Lederhosen advance to the cup-semi by beating Berlin 3:2 (stats ) :super:

    Congrats down south :thumbup:

  • It feels great to have volleyball on free TV, doesn't it? When you don't have to look for streams or pray for the internet connection to last :) Especially in Germany this must be some kind of phenomenon :D

    Berlin vs. Tirol Haching was an entertaining match. I have watched too little from the Bundesliga so far to make any comparisons or general remarks. But based on their recent results, this might've been Berlin's best game till now. I haven't seen Carroll score that much in a while. Luke Perry seems in good shape and overall Berlin played great in defence. I didn't know much about Luke Reynolds but I doubt he contributed much in that aspect because it is almost the same team he inherited from Serniotti. It's just that Berlin usually play well in defence.

    I knew what to expect from Berlin, they didn't disappoint this time, so I was more interested in watching the Austrians Bavarians foreigners from Innsbruck. Maybe an off day, who knows, they didn't play great. Danilo Gelinski impressed me as a leader of the team and a good setter. Surprisingly, the weakness in their attack is, in my opinion, the opposite. Verhoeff was maybe more reliable than Mlynarcik, the latter struggled against Berlin's organized block, but both didn't help their team much. Chrtiansky is an offensive OH, his weaker reception is known, but he was rarely a factor in attack this time, unfortunately. Pietruczuk is not bad at all, whereas Grobelny is an interesting player. Not very tall for an OH, actually "only" 194, but can do some damage.

  • German Cup semi-finals:

    United Volleys vs. Friedrichshafen 0:3 (23:25, 16:25, 17:25) stats

    The clear defeat of United Volleys comes as a slight disappointment, at least from a neutral point of view. VfB proves again that they are the best team of the league at the moment.

    Bühl vs. Herrsching 3:1 (24:26, 25:20, 25:17, 25:22) stats

    Bühl is reaching the final and confirm their improvement of the last weeks. Young german setter Mario Schmidtgall and japanese OH Masahiro Yanagida were showing very good performances lately.

  • Its been a while since i posted here..... :white:

    Main round finished yesterday and playoff matches are set. We have:

    Friedrichshafen (1) vs. Bühl (8 )
    Berlin (2) vs. Lüneburg (7)
    United Volleys (3) vs. Herrsching (6)
    Düren (4) vs. Hypo Tirol Alpenvolleys (5)

    First round will start coming Wednesday.
    Playoff schedule: http://www.volleyball-bundesli…lplan/1blm_playoffs.xhtml

    Due to the strength and stability of Friedrichshafen and the problems of Berlin, the battle for first place wasn't a real battle this year. As a good trend, the teams between 3 and 8 all had a decent level and matches between these teams often were tight and exciting.

    Speaking of individual performances, i liked how Moritz Karlitzek (OH, United Volleys) carried his team offensively while also accumulating decent numbers in reception. We will see how long he will still play in Bundesliga. Also Masahiro Yanagida (OH) did well in Bühl. After a little time of acclimatisation his performances could often raise the overall level of his team. Igor Grobelny (OH, Alpenvolleys), like his whole team, seriously improved towards the end of the season and surely is amongst the best OHs of the league. I would also mention Tom Strohbach (Herrsching). Very impressive how he and Tille handled a two-players-reception and still managed to reach good numbers, both in reception and attack.

    I will write about the other positions within the next days. In the meantime you can check individual and team stats yourslf here:


  • Friedrichshafen (1) vs. Bühl (8 )
    Berlin (2) vs. Lüneburg (7)
    United Volleys (3) vs. Herrsching (6)
    Düren (4) vs. Hypo Tirol Alpenvolleys (5)

    While,as expected, Friedrichshafen pretty much crushed Bühl, all other series went into a deciding 3rd match. Berlin showed again that the coach wasn't their only problem this season. In the end they overcame Lüneburg in their home place but overall the performances weren't glorious. Robert Kromm just doesn't have the form of last years and also Pujol's connection with the middles is rather shaky.

    Semifinals (starting on sunday):

    VfB Friedrichshafen vs. Hypo Tirol Alpenvolleys
    Berlin vs. United Volleys RheinMain

    Lets see, whether the two losses against Zaksa have shattered VfBs self confidence. Especially the return match in friedrichshafen was pretty sobering and might have an impact on them. On the other hand, the austrian newcomers from Innsbruck are probably the most improved team during the season and the series could be more interesting than some may expect.

    Regarding the other semi, both teams are probably weaker than last year. United Volleys just haven't reached yet their great level on block/defence from last year. Once Berlin manages to control Karlitzek and Krick, they should advance to the final. Even including all their problems, they still accumulate more class on the field.

  • Comgratulations to Berlin!! It wasn't easy and they weren't the favourotes at all.. also Friedrichshafen came back from 2-0 to 2-2 in the final series. But eventually Berlin had the final match. I always cheered for them and for Kromm in particular, so great!! :super:

  • For a second season in a row Heynen loses the title in the final play-offs in a pretty much similar fashion. True, Friedrichshafen were the favourites this year, but we knew it right from the beginning of the season that they will crumble the moment they meet an in-form physical team. Berlin had had a fluctuating and even disappointing season but played very consistently during the finals and especially yesterday. It was exactly the physical team that Friedrichshafen were always meant to suffer against. And as it turned out, Heynen may have squeezed the maximum out of them and scored an impressive run overall but remains almost empty-handed. Which kind of means that his tactics and recruitment were maybe rather unsuccessful, in my opinion, when scrutinized now at the end of the season. Not a failure, of course, but only a domestic Cup as a result and prize for all this domination is a bit frustrating.

    Funny thing, having tried so many times to stop Berlin's recent success run in Germany with his Friedrichshafen, Stelian Moculescu... won the league with Berlin.