Posts by Azvin

    ...Schwerin COULD finance it, if they really want. As Dresden did in the past 6 years, it was not always easy for them, by the way.

    Exactly my point. Not easy, but something that could be done, financially, and should be done from a long-range volleyball development point of view.

    Or become third tier league in Europe.

    Not playing in CL is short-term thinking. It's a matter of investing. By not competing in CL the German league will find it increasingly difficult to attract top-quality foreign players and retain and develop top-quality domestic talent. The long-term result will be a much lower-quality league overall, and a lower-rated league--it's a self-fulfilling prophecy!

    Look, I understand it is an expensive process, but that's exactly why the VBL administration needs to find more ways to assist its top clubs to be able to afford to participate.

    I have lost some respect for SSC Palmberg Schwerin (or any other team) that makes feeble and possibly questionable excuses for avoiding playing against the best teams when they have that opportunity. COMPETE, for gawd's sake!

    It seems, that they don't want to hire a fourth OH, which will reduce costs the most. This is a very risky approach: in both last seasons we lost one OH due to injury in the late part of the season which diminished the chances of the team enormously regarding championship. Anyway, if Schwerin does its job, it will be extremely hard for both Stuttgart and Dresden to stop them IMHO.

    At this point it seems that for budget reasons many if not most VBL teams will be younger, with rosters with fewer players, and with smaller budgets next season. I agree that given the risk of mid-season injuries, this could put teams in a difficult situation. And it is a fair question to ask what this trend might do to the overall quality of play. We shall see, I guess.

    What are the odds for this semifinal?

    Stuttgart is the clear favorite, Dresden is sharing this view. I think, they want also to prepare against too high expectations in Dresden after a weak season compared to the last.

    Agree 100%.

    Dresden's only chance of winning hinges on somehow stealing the first contest, which will require Stuttgart to have a horrible match. If they can do that, Dresden might pull off an upset with the second match at home. In this respect I think shortening the series to best of three actually favours Dresden.

    But it's a very small chance at that.

    I can easily live with quarterfinals only, and just cancellation of this time-wasting pre-playoffs.

    I assume that the purpose of having multiple playoff rounds at all is to maintain interest, draw crowds, make some gate money, and deliver more returns to sponsors.

    I fail to see how reducing the number of teams or shortening the playoff round achieves these objectives.

    If my assumption is wrong, why have any playoffs?

    That's interesting, because obviously there is a whole bunch of special rules for VCO Berlin players, usual transfers are no more possible since begin of February. And Liana Mesa Luaces is questionable as opposite for the playoffs, so this was a very good move by the experienced red raves of Vilsbiburg. Remember, they won German championship in 2008 and 2010, DVV cup in 2009 and 2014 and have played many tight matches against Dresden - they openly admit, that they will attack the defending champions to win the quarter, they know very well, that Dresden is rather vulnerable this time compared to the three previous seasons. I think they pose a major threat for Dresden and would disturb semi finals with a win, because than they would play Schwerin and instead of Schwerin Stuttgart would get the winner of Potsdam vs. Wiesbaden as opponent.

    Dresden is more than vulnerable, IMHO. Unless they suddenly learn how to receive serve with much better passing than they have lately, I don't see them winning even the quarterfinals. Teams now know how to beat them; just serve aggressively and Dresden will be out of system more often than not. Dresden's passing has been bad all season; in the last few league matches it has been worse. Absolutely no confidence shown by these players.

    It leads me to wonder if Waibl's "aggressive" coaching style has eroded their confidence?

    Sounds like Dresden and Sttugart has the same problem in the OP position. Machmon and Witney shows that height is really not that important as everyone thinks, they are 1.99 and 1.95 but they struggle to kill a ball. And the twin playing as back OP clearly can`t play as OP.

    Sounds like Dresden and Sttugart has the same problem in the OP position. Machmon and Witney shows that height is really not that important as everyone thinks, they are 1.99 and 1.95 but they struggle to kill a ball. And the twin playing as back OP clearly can`t play as OP.

    IMHO, Dresden's issue is not really at the OP position. Unless Alex can create a magic elixir that will fix their reception problems, Dresden is going to struggle to be consistent. I have never seen a team play out of system so much. This has been the problem all year, and although for a while lately the reception had improved, today was more like what Dresden showed at the beginning of the season. This makes it difficult for the entire front line to get a good swing, which also explains that whoever they play looks like a great defensive team.

    I don't like singling out players for bad performances; it is a hard game and these are all good athletes who don't always get the results they want. But I agree that Birks has not played up to her reputation this year and has been a liability in reception. And Kadie Rolfzen did not have her best game today. This match really turned around when Dannemiller, Gebhardt, and Tapp subbed in, showing that Schwerin has more depth than Dresden, whose play in reception by the leftside hitters and liberos has been at best indifferent all year. Although Dresden has improved a lot over the season, with these weaknesses it is hard to see them achieving enough consistency to defeat the best teams, especially if they do not have home court advantage.

    The league table is again screwed due to different match numbers. A correct measure corresponding to set and ball point ratio, i.e. match points divided by match number, shows Stuttgart before Dresden (like the mentioned other ratios do too). If the league can't guarantee equal match numbers by a balanced schedule (often the VCO Berlin with its own rules is one major issue regarding this), they should at least build the table mathematically with sense and not accidentally by played matches depending of team.

    Other than immediate bragging rights for your favorite team, why does this matter? It will all work out by the end of the year. Sounds like you are creating a problem where none exists . . . IMHO.

    I can't see Amber playing opposite. She has OH and MB style. And the czech MB completely useless. They're playing with half of the net again. This time Kadie is the player to go, before it was Liz. Sheshenina keeps he show going on. :white:

    Liz looks slow and tired and hurting and worn out from being the go-to scorer all season. I thought overall that the Dresden middles were too slow to block . . . they were hit over or through again and again, not even getting touches. Katerinburg hit 51% on the match. If not for the fact Liz needs a rest, I think we'd see Amber at middle before long. But Waibl has no other good option at opposite right now, and it is clear that he needs one. Think about the drop off on this team at almost every position from last year's starters:

    Slay / Onyejekwe to Cooper / Johnson
    Mikhailenko / Lippmann to McMahon / A. Rolfzen
    Barstch to Schwabe / Birks
    Dijkema to Apitz / Smutna

    And last year's team barely made it into the playoff round.

    I just don't believe Dresden is a CL-level team this year.

    Perhaps the coach should have spent more time recruiting CL-level players than coaching the Czech Republic NT all summer. And maybe finding a setter who can set the middles with something other than a paintbrush attack.

    Just sayin' . . .

    I'm watching Dresdner vs Stuttgart.

    Stuttgart needs Whitney in her best shape as soon as possible. Their passing was just terrible in the game. The real difference in the game was Liz McMahon. I wonder how the result would look like with Apitz on court: Smutna's setting, expecially to the OHs was just bad (high balls far from the net). Buakaew by far the best player of her team.

    Buakaew has been amazing this year. Every time I have watched Stuttgart she has been their best player. And I was very impressed with Stuttgart's effort on the defensive side in this match.

    If you have not seen Dresden play before this season, you might not appreciate that at least IMHO this was by far Dresden's best defensive effort. To my eyes, for most of this season the team has lacked a certain competitive spirit or emotion. Yesterday they put a lot of extra effort into tracking down bad passes and keeping balls in play. And their usually atrocious serve receive was much better. As for the setters, I have not been overly impressed with either Apitz or Smutna except in one respect: Apitz has been much better server and has subbed in to serve at critical points in the last two matches and done very well--making the coach look like a genius. But the timing, location, and deceptiveness of the sets of both players have left room for improvement.

    I agree that Stuttgart did not play their best. For the early part of the match the Stuttgart middles were dominating the Dresden pair, but by the end the Saxony middles responded, especially Johnson, who managed 6 block points. In the end the stats for the middles were about even.

    I think that with the addition of Rolfzen these two teams are much closer, and I look forward to more battles between them in the playoffs.

    Can you tell me when the winter transfer window closes in Europe, or does it vary by country?

    Thank you!

    Any replayes for the matches?

    I should starts watching volleyball again instead of reading stats and results.

    I'm really intrested about Dresdner, because there's another player there which is not as good as I expected; I'm talking about Birks, of course. :huh:

    I liked watching Birks in the NCAA. This is her first year playing pro and she is still young, so it would be wrong to write her off quite yet. But she may be among the long list of excellent NCAA outside hitters who have trouble receiving consistently at the international level. We shall see.

    But it might not be at Dresden.

    She's just not good :S For me she's the weakest of Dresden's MBs, though Purchartova is not much better. Cooper and Johnson have established themselves as clear starters in the key matches for Dresden, Cross and Purchartova will get their playing time against weaker opponents.

    I think "not good" is a little harsh. She and Purchartova are quite young and can contribute in certain spots. No doubt, however, that Cooper and Johnson have emerged as the first team in Waibl's mind. Today was the first match this season where I felt that Dresden's middles really stepped up and had a major impact on the match, especially Johnson with 6 blocks. With Rolfzen steadying the reception and contributing from the left side, Dresden has the potential to be dangerous down the stretch.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, Schwerin’s loss today really opens up the table. The three top teams each have two losses, are separated by three just points, and have one more match against each other.

    Dresden v. Stuttgart: Jan. 7
    Schwerin v. Dresden: Feb. 5
    Schwerin v. Stuttgart: Feb. 18

    At the moment each team now has it within their control to win the regular season without needing an upset of another team. With Schwerin having their two matches at home and Stuttgart having two on the road, I guess one might give a slight edge to Schwerin, assuming they return to form after two losses in a row.

    This could be very exciting!