Posts by TimHH

    VfB Friedrichshafen (1) vs. Bühl (8)

    Alpenvolleys (2) vs. Herrsching (7)

    Berlin (3) vs. Düren (6)

    Lüneburg (4) vs. United Volleys (5)

    All higher ranked teams won the first encounter of the quarterfinals. All in all, most matches went as expected. Berlin survived a tough moment in the first set but showed afterwards that they are the better team. Düren will need Gevert on fire and a perfect day from the service line, if they want to bring the series to a third match.

    Frankfurt's performance in Lüneburg/Hamburg was a bit disappointing. Not only that they lost, but the way they did should make them think. For Lüneburg, finally, canadian opposite Ryan Sclater had a great match (31 points) and deservedly was named MVP of the match.

    Tonight and tomorrow (Herrsching vs. Alpenvolleys,18.30 CET) the second matches will be played. Most interesting matches should be Düren vs. Berlin (19 CET) and United Volleys vs. Lüneburg (19 CET). Streams will be available on

    On other news, Friedrichshafen has confirmed that Michael Warm will be new coach for next season. Not the most glamorous solution but we will see.

    Best players of the main round, according to stats:

    Attack (attack efficiency):


    1. Bartlomej Boladz (POL), Friedrichshafen

    2. Ben Patch (USA), Berlin

    3. Daniel Malescha (GER), Friedrichshafen

    4. Kirill Klets (RUS), Alpenvolleys

    5. Sebastian Gevert (CHIle), Düren


    1. Ray Szeto (CAN), Lüneburg

    2. Cody Kessel (USA), Lüneburg

    3. Adam White (AUS), Berlin

    4. Samuele Tuia (FRA), Berlin

    5. Pawel Halaba (POL), Alpenvolleys


    1. Nicolas LeGoff (FRA), Berlin

    2. Tim Broshog (GER), Düren

    3. Douglas Duarte (BRA) Alpenvolleys

    4. Andreas Takvam (NOR), Friedrichshafen

    5. Phillip Collin (GER), Friedrichshafen

    Best Scorer:

    1. Sebastian Gevert (CHI), Op, Düren

    2. Bruno Lima (ARG), Op, Bühl

    3. Jerome Clere (FRA) OH, Giesen

    4. Casey Schouten (CAN), Op, Netzhoppers

    5. Kirill Klets (RUS), Op, Alpenvolleys

    Reception (perfect/good reception)


    1. Ferdinand Tille (GER), Herrsching

    2. Dustin Watten (USA), Berlin

    3. Julian Zenger (GER), Frankfurt

    4. Urban Toman (Slovenia), Giesen

    5. Nicolas Rossard (FRA), Berlin


    1. David Sossenheimer (GER), Friedrichshafen

    2. Björn Andrae (GER), Düren

    3. Dirk Westphal (GER), Netzhoppers

    4.Atanasios Protopsaltis (GRE), Friedrichshafen

    5. Tim Peter (GER), Herrsching

    The last matches of the main round were played yesterday and we have a final standing and the setting for the playoffs:

    VfB Friedrichshafen (1) vs. Bühl (8)

    Alpenvolleys (2) vs. Herrsching (7)

    Berlin (3) vs. Düren (6)

    Lüneburg (4) vs. United Volleys (5)

    final ranking

    Berlin's strong finish wasn't enough to climb any further but meanwhile they look like the team they wanted to be much earlier in the season. Grankin's addition made every player more confident and relaxed and suddenly they can win the tight sets/matches as well. Especially Ben Patch is playing like a boss now and can carry the team in difficult moments. Still, the quarter against Düren is not a no-brainer for them and they can't allow to start slowly.

    My 2 main points against this system are:

    1. Intercontinental rounds are the essence of the WCH itself, not (main part of) the qualifiers. The best teams across all continents should be there, not the best in shape. This new system might guarantee better teams or more European teams, for instance, but doesn't guarantee diversity. Which is what a WCH is. And this is the largest (in terms of participants) international volleyball event, after all.

    2. Not all teams will have the chance to fight for a WCH spot. I fear only a limited number of teams in Asia, Africa, and Europe will participate in the continental qualification round.

    Valid arguments.

    Regarding the bolded part, this "problem" could actually be solved with continental championships serving as qualification tournament. On a positive side effect, this would also mean a tournament less in the international calendar.

    But generally and putting into consideration how FIVB is organised and how decisions were made in the past, i rather don't see such a systen coming through the FIVB decision process anyway.....

    Can you elaborate why you think this is a bad system. I find it quite fair to be honest.

    Well, on first view i would also say that a shift towards a qualifying mode which let the teams battle it out on intercontinental encounters is a step in the right direction. We would have to see though, how a group allocation for second round would look like. The devil is probably in the detail. I just don't see Norceca or Asia being fine with the danger of ending up with only two spots for WCH.

    Generally it would also be a good opportunity to give some importance back to the continental championships which could nicely serve as qualifying tournaments. But i am pretty sure the federations rather prefer having seperate tournaments, mainly for commercial reasons.

    More games doesn't mean better quality, though.

    To me, this is actually one of the main arguments against a NT schedule as we have this year. Hell, we are already debating now who will send A,B or C teams to these tournaments and probably every single nation will have different priorities/approaches. This imho will diminish the quality of every single competition, including VNL, World Cup and ECH which, if played in a sensible fashion, should all be great tournaments.

    And we haven't even started debating how that schedule affects club volleyball if the top players get sent to VNL directly after the season and return to the clubs and play matches directly after ECH and World Cup.....

    ..... For sure they should be a more competitive team than 2015 but having seen Friedrichshafen beat Frankfurt on Tuesday i have my doubts that a victory is possible.....

    While the first part of the phrase imo is still true, in the end it did not reflect in the result. After an embattled first set, Friedrichshafen simply outplayed Lüneburg and the final became pretty onesided. As Lüneburg's coach put it, 2 or three players haven't performed as they are capable of and so there was no chance to beat Friedrichshafen this time.

    By the way, Heynen announced after the final that he will leave Friedrichshafen after the season, in order to focus on the polish NT.

    German Cup final

    13.30 CET

    SVG Lüneburg vs. VfB Friedrichshafen

    stream: (only with german IP)

    Unlike the cup final four years ago, this time Lüneburg is seriously believing in their chance to beat Friedrichshafen. For sure they should be a more competitive team than 2015 but having seen Friedrichshafen beat Frankfurt on Tuesday i have my doubts that a victory is possible. With all their players healthy and available, Friedrichshafen seems to be back on track to dominate with their very own "Heynen style" kind of playing.

    Key aspect for Lüneburg will be their reception which, in general, is the rather weak link of their play. Once they are competitive in this element they should have enough fire power on every position to make life difficult for Friedrichshafen. First to name would be the OH duo of Cody Kessel and Ray Szeto. Especially Kessel is enjoying a great season and for sure is one of the most spectacular and highest spiking attackers of the league.

    BR Volleys vs. Alpenvolleys 3:0 (25:21, 25:15, 31:29)


    Finally a sign of strength by Berlin which comes late in the season but maybe not too late. 75% success rate on positive reception is a great number for Grankin and obviously everyone on the Berlin team is benefitting from his presence and skills. First to name would be Ben Patch who has played well now for a couple of matches.

    Lets see what this defeat will do to the Alpenvolleys. They still have 3 tough matches to play, while Berlins ony tough match is the one in Lüneburg. So you can't even rule out now, that Berlin still lands on place 2 after main round. which would be somewhat bitter irony after the season the Alpenvolleys have played so far. But it is still in their own hands.


    1. Alpenvolleys 16-2 45

    2. Friedrichshafen 15-3 45

    3. Lüneburg 13-5 41

    4. Berlin 14-4 40


    On the other side, it was the first time this season I finally had the chance to watch Dueren more closely. They have gathered a very good roster this season and yet, similarly to Berlin, they obviously underperform. If we look at their last two home games, 2-3 defeats after taking 2-0 leads against Herrsching and Berlin, respectively, we might see that their problems are also psychological and not that much technical. They are capable of playing very decent volleyball, demonstrated that also over the weekend, but the amount of defeats and lost points when they appeared to have been in charge of games is just ridiculous. Pity because they deserve a far better league position with this roster.

    While i agree on your overall assessment that Düren has a decent roster this year i don't agree with your last phrase. Imho they lack a bit of balance and are overly dependant on Gevert, who is strong and powerful as always but, unfortunately for Düren, can easily run out of steam nowadays. Kocian's fast sets are not always helping either, so i do think the reason they may give matches out of hands is probably more technical than psychological. And with the top6 teams being that balanced this year, the more stable and balanced teams imho have the advantage.

    But Düren still has chances to work up the ranks, for example with a win in Lüneburg on Wednesday. The Alpenvolleys on Saturday impressively showed how to do it: By simply serving Lüneburg off the court (17 aces)....:white:

    But anyway, from what i saw (set 4+5), the match against Berlin was very entertaining, including a lot of trash talking and emotions in the end. This would have been a very good tv match.

    I hope the match on Thursday will be tight too. If such a "victory from behind" doesn't help to boost Berlins confidence then probably nothing will ever help. But they have to play better, off course, even though Frankfurt's form has slightly dropped during last weeks.

    Which brings us to his choice of moving to the German capital. I agree that he is a good enough player to sign with almost any team but this is hardly possible in the middle of the year. Bigger teams have setters and plans for the season and the only opportunity to sign with a better team is if they are in crisis. To me, the only options were Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (the team is underperforming and Konstantinov had issues with Drzyzga), Belogorie (they only rely on Poroshin and Bagrey), Berlin/Resovia (obvious crisis and some money), or Halkbank (just like that, Halkbank is always an option for some top players). I guess Russian teams were not necessarily looking for new players, maybe even Belogorie didn't get in contact with Grankin this time, so Berlin is not a bad or even somewhat logical option for him. Time will show if it was a downgrade or not, but it is better for him to find motivation and even play in the Bundesliga than stay grumpy in Moscow.

    I agree with Yavor's asessment here.

    And i may add that even"off the court" Berlin could, for the moment, be a good choice for him. Remember, this is his first time playing abroad and there are many many russians/russian speaking people in Berlin, including almost every aspect of cultural and social life.

    Zimmermann's performance wasn't good. However, Grankin cannot play for CEV CL. He and Kühner need to improve their performance.

    It remains to be seen how motivated Zimmermann still is after he officially is the third setter now. He really played decent matches in VNL, so this development comes a bit surprising to me and imho he shouldn't be benched behind Kühner. Lets see how this will play out in future...

    By the way, interesting and surprising results today in Bundesliga. Frankfurt lost in Giesen, Herrsching won in Düren and Alpenvolleys barely survived in Bühl......

    Results and ranking: https://www.volleyball-bundesl…tabelle/1blm_normal.xhtml

    Game over. Pretty routine win for Friedrichshafen. Berlin played like a team which assembled last week and today had their first competitive match. In parts that even reflects reality.

    They should forget now about results in main round, integrate Grankin and prepare a squad for the playoffs. It can't get worse than 6th place after main round and to win the title, they have to beat anyone anyway.....

    I wonder if Grankin will play tonight. Kuhner is not looking bright for Berlin with all his high balls to his outside hitters.

    If these high balls would at least be somewhat accurate....:white:

    Enard has obviously seen enough and Grankin took over. But overall there are too many players underperforming at the moment, not sure whether Grankin can change much.

    The transfer of Grankin to Berlin surely adds a bit more exitement to todays match between Berlin and Friedrichshafen (19 CET). As Matthias pointed out in the rumors thread, he is enlisted on the vbl site and in theory, we could already see him playing.

    Berlin's performances so far have been pretty bad. Their key transfers either played bad/inconsistent (Zimmermann, Patch,Jendryk) or were constantly injured (Reichert). Probably only Tuia lived up to the expectations. So i am not sure whether Grankin can solve all their problems. Imho they will fail to win the league if they have to rely on, even by Bundesliga standards, mediocre players like Kühner, Adam White, Kyle Russell or Georg Klein. Overall, teams like Lüneburg, Alpenvolleys, Düren and Frankfurt have improved and showed that they can win against Berlin. So lets see what Grankin can do to the team.

    It will be interesting too, which setter they will throw overboard. The local hero Kühner or NT setter Zimmermann?

    Friedrichshafen, for their part, have their own bunch of problems. A new setter (Redwitz) and injuries (Steuerwald, Sossenheimer) have made them look far less dominant this season than what we were used to see from them last year.

    So personally i don't expect the highest tonight but it will surely become interesting.

    Sergei Grankin from Dynamo Moscow to Berlin Recycling Volleys


    Now that would be a move.....

    His contract in Moscow was obviously resolved but so far, nothing on this on german media,

    When in mood and shape, he has always been one of my favourite setters to watch. Once confirmed, i will check immediately if there are still tickets available for Berlin's gig in Lüneburg.

    Are there any known reasons why he is leaving Dinamo? Bad performances by Grankin and/or lack of money at Dinamo?