Germany - VBL 1. Bundesliga 2018/2019

  • Remark from second league: already yesterday, still four days to go in the league, Offenburg secured the win (again, as last season and the third time overall) of the second league South, but didn't celebrate it really. It seems, they postpone this forseeable achievement (by a four set win against second team of Allianz MTV Stuttgart) celebration to have not a graveyard posture in the hall at their last match in second league, because they cancel this team altogether after this season. They are another victim of the lack of sponsors willing to support volleyball in Germany... (it has to do also with soccer club Freiburg, men's first league, which consumes all relevant sport sponsor money of southern Badenia, it seems).

  • Nikola Radosova is probably done for the season with a leg muscle/tendon injury that needs 6-8 weeks to recover. Lena Stigrot sat out with knee problems recently, so at the moment Dresden's OH position is down to Segura and Schwabe. Lucky for them that Korhonen is slowly regaining her shape...

  • On the other hand Stuttgarts players are tired and show signs of fatigue: they played many more matches than Dresden in this season (18 league, CL: 4 qualification and 6 pool stage, i.e. 10 in total, and all 4 possible DVV cup matches, which sums up to an huge number of 32, while Dresden had much time for rest just playing 19 league, 2 CEV cup and 1 DVV cup match, which makes just 22, i.e. 10 (!) less). So the preconditions for the TV match in two days, on Thursday evening are not ideal for both sides.

  • Stuttgart lost sets 2 and 3 clearly because of being tired and lack of time for exercising basics like service and reception. What is more dangerous for them than the one point they lost to Dresden today is the issue, that they will have no time for rest until end of the regular season on 23. March, kind of penalty of going so far as the quarterfinals of the CL and the unabilitly or unwillingness of the VBL, to take care for such moments in the European Cups (this is already at least the third time, they don't do their scheduling job in this phase of the season right). This gives Schwerin bigger chances than deserved to take away Stuttgarts lead, but on the other hand in the last season we have seen, that it is not so important, which team is first after the main season, but which team is best in the final series...

  • Dresden - Stuttgart 2:3 (23:25 25:18 25:17 18:25 14:16)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2114.pdf

    MVP: Ivana Mrdak (20 pts with 71%) / Krystal Rivers (30 pts with 58%)


    Dresden in tie-break from 10:14 to 14:14 but couldn't complete the comeback. 18 year old MB Camilla Weitzel today for the first time played a full match against a stronger team and apparently did fairly well (I only watched tie-break and there she got replaced by Planinsec early).

  • Dresden - Stuttgart 2:3 (23:25 25:18 25:17 18:25 14:16)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2114.pdf

    MVP: Ivana Mrdak (20 pts with 71%) / Krystal Rivers (30 pts with 58%)


    Dresden in tie-break from 10:14 to 14:14 but couldn't complete the comeback. 18 year old MB Camilla Weitzel today for the first time played a full match against a stronger team and apparently did fairly well (I only watched tie-break and there she got replaced by Planinsec early).

    Weitzel made a lot of service mistakes, but produced also some aces (nothing to worry about: Dresden generally used to serve with high risk yesterday).

  • What is more dangerous for them than the one point they lost to Dresden today is the issue, that they will have no time for rest until end of the regular season on 23. March, kind of penalty of going so far as the quarterfinals of the CL and the unabilitly or unwillingness of the VBL, to take care for such moments in the European Cups (this is already at least the third time, they don't do their scheduling job in this phase of the season right).

    Please complain to the international federation, which always manages to start the season at the earliest in the middle of October - and because of the national team obligations the season ends earlier than absolutely sensible. And the clubs have given themselves the regulations during the short available period in the league meeting. I did not hear that Stuttgart had voted against.

  • Aachen - Wiesbaden 3:0 (25:22 25:18 25:19)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2113.pdf

    MVP: Taylor Agost / Tanja Großer


    Schwerin - Potsdam 3:0 (25:17 25:23 25:23)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2109.pdf

    MVP: Beta Dumancic / Anne Hölzig


    Vilsbiburg - Suhl 3:1 (25:23 18:25 25:23 25:22)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2110.pdf

    MVP: Myrthe Schoot / Taylor Bruns


    Münster - Straubing 3:1 (25:17 18:25 25:13 26:24)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2111.pdf

    MVP: Luisa Keller / Frauke Neuhaus


    Ranking:

    1 Stuttgart 19 19 57:8 54

    2 Schwerin 19 18 55:12 52

    3 Dresden 20 13 47:26 42

    4 Potsdam 19 10 39:34 33

    5 Aachen 20 10 37:36 31

    6 Vilsbiburg 18 10 32:26 30

    7 Münster 19 10 34:35 28

    8 Suhl 19 9 32:37 26

    9 Wiesbaden 19 9 33:39 25

    10 Straubing 19 4 18:49 13

    11 Erfurt 19 3 19:51 9

    12 VCO Berlin 20 0 10:60 2

  • Surprise, surprise: Wiesbaden won in three sets against Dresden, which was wholly crap today, and kept alive their playoff chances this way. Also Münster did a slightly unexpected three-set home win against Vilsbiburg, the latter had no good day too. The other two matches ended with expected three-set-wins by Potsdam against Suhl and Straubing against Erfurt, the latter were not up to the task under pressure... but since no team from second league (even if one does unexpectedly) will go to first league, VBL and Erfurt sponsors already agreed of prolonging playing first league, despite Erfurt is now definitely the last team of the season (aside from not competing VCO Berlin, whose position doesn't matter).

  • SC Potsdam – VfB Suhl LOTTO Thüringen 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-22)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2116.pdf

    MVP: Anne Hölzig / McKenzie Jacobson


    VC Wiesbaden – Dresdner SC 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-18)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2118.pdf

    MVP: Jennifer Hamson / Ivana Mrdak


    USC Münster – Rote Raben Vilsbiburg 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 27-25)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2115.pdf

    MVP: Linda Bock / Channon Thompson


    NawaRo Straubing – Schwarz-Weiß Erfurt 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-15)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2120.pdf

    MVP: Lena Große Scharmann / Wivian Gadelha


    Today 18:30 on Sport1 Stuttgart vs Schwerin.

  • Stuttgart - Schwerin 2:3 (25:16 23:25 22:25 26:24 13:15)

    http://live.volleyball-bundesliga.de/2018-19/Women/2117.pdf

    MVP: Krystal Rivers (32 pts with 50%) / McKenzie Adams


    Thanks to the one point, Stuttgart still stays ahead of Schwerin in the ranking for now with two matches remaining. Schwerin plays both at home vs Wiesbaden and VCO, so 6 pts are rather likely for them; Stuttgart has to play in Suhl and at home against Potsdam, they'll probably get 6 pts as well but might be a bit more likely than Schwerin to drop one somewhere. But then their sets ratio also is better than Schwerin's, so after all Stuttgart will very probably enter the playoffs as 1st.


    However, I'll be so bold as to say that once again, Stuttgart will finish the season on 2nd rank. They're not going to win 3 matches against Schwerin in the finals unless anything unexpected happens (i.e. injuries etc).

  • I have a totally different opinion: the preconditions of both sides were rather unabalanced, Stuttgart made in total 4 points more than Schwerin today and Schwerin won the second set very lucky. For me overall Stuttgart is clearly the better team and will most likely win the championship for the first time, after they will finally being out of CL next week. This costed them now 5 and in the end 6 additional matches as Schwerin and beginning with third set Stuttgart got really tired. Stuttgart can play definitely better than today, while Schwerin can't. But we can have differing opinions all the time, at the end of the final series we will see what happens.

  • Schwerin has the better setters, equal OPP, better OHs. Stuttgart has a better libero and in theory better MBs, but today again Schwerin showed that they can slow them down and suddenly Dumancic and Barfield have better stats than McCage and Tapp. So I don't agree at all that "Stuttgart is clearly the better team".

    For me, Wilhite has been the biggest disappointment of the league this season. That doesn't mean that she plays actually bad, but with her background I expected her to be a star player on this level, and she clearly is not! Also Poll is not a player to win titles, just see how she choked in the Cup final. Stuttgart's only hope is that Sandor suddenly gets back to her previous shape, because Schwerin won't allow Rivers to score 30+ points for several matches in a row.

    Don't get me wrong, Stuttgart is by no means a bad team, they're clearly way above the level of the rest of the league. It's just that for me Schwerin is even a bit higher above. Another reason is that Schwerin has a coach who can prepare his team to be in top shape when it really counts, which Athanasopoulos has yet to prove.

  • Schwerin has the better setters, equal OPP, better OHs. Stuttgart has a better libero and in theory better MBs, but today again Schwerin showed that they can slow them down and suddenly Dumancic and Barfield have better stats than McCage and Tapp. So I don't agree at all that "Stuttgart is clearly the better team".

    For me, Wilhite has been the biggest disappointment of the league this season. That doesn't mean that she plays actually bad, but with her background I expected her to be a star player on this level, and she clearly is not! Also Poll is not a player to win titles, just see how she choked in the Cup final. Stuttgart's only hope is that Sandor suddenly gets back to her previous shape, because Schwerin won't allow Rivers to score 30+ points for several matches in a row.

    Don't get me wrong, Stuttgart is by no means a bad team, they're clearly way above the level of the rest of the league. It's just that for me Schwerin is even a bit higher above. Another reason is that Schwerin has a coach who can prepare his team to be in top shape when it really counts, which Athanasopoulos has yet to prove.

    I honestly think, that you misjudge the situation. If the important players of Stuttgart stay healthy in the final series opposed to the last three seasons, Stuttgart will win. You totally ignore the extremely high load for Stuttgarts players now compared to Schwerin, having played 6 more matches before going to playoffs (assuming they will lose in CL quarters against Novara, which is highly likely), because of being forced to play the qualification of CL and going into the quarters, while Schwerin had a full week of rest and preparation for todays match. For example Stuttgart could hardly exercise even service, which was a major difference today, because Stuttgart served clearly weeker than they did before having so many English weeks. They will have the same preparation time as Schwerin in the playoffs.


    Regarding the table: indeed even if Stuttgart wins in Suhl just 3:1 and at home against Potsdam 3:2 and Schwerin both last matches with 3:0, Stuttgart will defend the position 1 in the table.


    That coach Koslowski is more experienced than Athanasopoulos is true for sure, but he is learning too, I'm sure.