Sweden is considered overall being a rather weak team, despite they have a star attacker (Isabelle Haak, one of the best in A1). This is embarassing for Czech team, which was clear-cut favourite IMHO, but I think, not all good players were with them, i.e. Aneta Havlikova was missing. And Michaela Mlejnková was not efficient today (I still think, she needs more time to rest now).
Belgium got first set 25-4 against iceland ..wow!! what a score !
what is the Belgian coach waiting for to give a chance to his backup players ?
I think, Iceland is not up to the task even playing in qualfication here. CEV should set minimum standards for this kind of participation IMHO. Final result -4,-8,-10, this was a massacre, not a match.
Tatiana Kosheleva doesn't think, that she will be ready for the World Championships this year; but Russian head coach won't give up until the very last moment. It seems highly unlikely now, that she will play.
Yamila Nizetich has been excluded from ARG NT after giving an interview in Argentinian Radio where she apparently complained about NT's way of working in training.
Source (Italian): http://agilvolley.com/igornovara.asp?id=3&idnews=2415
Here is her statement regarding that story, when she was excluded first from NT:
And we all remember, how bad the performance of Argentine NT was in VNL...
Only slightly off-topic: are there any signs, that the multi million US Dollar party of the big Istanbul clubs will end sooner or later by the rapidly decaying Turkish currency (Lira)? I guess, some other turbulences in the league are already connected with this decay...
NawaRo Straubing has now confirmed the transfer of USA MB Ty Richardson, and they also confirm that Lisa Izquierdo is currently in tryout training with them and depending on her physical condition (she's still recovering from her ACL injury) they might sign her.
I guess if even NawaRo doesn't sign her that would be the end of Izquierdo's career
It would be a big loss for German volleyball, if Izquierdo is completely out: she brought complete Cuban look and playing style into the league (not very tall, but jumping very high, and pulling her arm extremely quickly in attack).
NawaRo Straubing signs Lena Große Scharmann from Stuttgart's 2nd team as 2nd OPP. Carina Aulenbrock is currently recovering from ACL injury and might join the team during the season again as 3rd OPP.
This is really funny: she is already the fourth player educated in Stuttgarts federal academy respective second team playing for Straubing this season (the others are Neuhaus, Wenzel and Stöhr).
btw..i just learnt by Tvf's announcing the new schedule that Halkbank will compete in sultanlar ligi first Samsun Anakent was announced now Halkbank etc
i dont have any idea about their roster
Sounds a little like Chaos, doesn't it?
Now we can try a first assessment of the rosters of the top three teams regarding the championships. IMHO Schwerin is a little weaker than in previous season, mainly because neither Drewniok nor Doshkova are a real replacement for Lippmann.
Dresden is likely to be a little stronger than last season because Stigrot is supposed to be better as all OHs of last season.
Stuttgart should be a little stronger as previously, mainly due to opposite Rivers, which should be better as both van Daelen and Perovic.
So my personal guess for the championships of the first three is:
Of course there are other factors to consider too: 1. injuries can turn the tide. Not only Stuttgart suffered a lot the last three seasons in the final series, a number of years ago Dresden had the very same issue, before defeating Schwerin for the first time and ending a Schwerin three-times-streak. 2. load of other competitions, especially European Cups: Schwerin should have exactly three pool stage rounds respective 6 matches (three at home and three abroad), if there is no insane draw like last season, and than be out. Stuttgart will play two qualification rounds, i.e. four matches, and than either also pool stage like Schwerin additionally, what means four matches more, or lose in final qualification against Alba Blaj and go down to CEV cup, than they will likely have two more rounds or four matches more, which means one round or two matches more than Schwerin, before being out against Galatasaray in quarters. Dresden should be out already in first round and just two matches against two times competition winner Busto Arsizio and will have by far the lowest load by European Cups.
Interestingly Stuttgart hosts Dresden already in first round of DVV cup, so one of both will be out fairly early (more likely Dresden), which can modify things too.
And generally speaking, the top three are supposed to be closer together regarding strength than last season, so the top matches are supposed to be extremely interesting...
Another paywall article of the svz explains, that fire prevention measures may enforce reduction of allowed spectators in Schwerins Palmberg hall - this is a likely outcome, now knowing the hall, because the reailty was for sure not conformant to fire protection regulations, when we attended a match in December 2017 there.
i agree, ARG is way over-ranked, and maybe GER as well.
but NORCECA having 7 spots is too ridiculous. that's why there's so many weak teams here. i think MEX, CUB and TTO should be replaced by COL, POL and maybe CRO.
(and of course, one could argue that africa doesn't need 2 spots... but...)
I don't think, that GER is currently over-ranked, they are just 13., i.e. pretty bad, and ended up in VNL as 11., so this reflects correctly their weakness.
Being host have benefits, no doubt about that. Japan lucked out of not having drawn the best team from their respective pots.
Don't think anyone is mad that Japan is hosting. It is just the teams involved are not the best, thus leading to bad draws. Why did NORCECA have 7 teams when they are not that strong, with only 4 teams in the top 24 ranking? The same thing happened in Rio when some teams didn't belong there. This kind of stuff leads to conspiracy theories.
It's no conspiracy theory. The FIVB is dominated by USA and Brazil influences, and always friendly to the top Asian teams too, and kind of hostile against CEV, so they are mostly creating unfair and not balanced championships, where the European teams have disadvantages and especially too few berths. This is also historical behaviour, nothing new.
NawaRo Straubing signs OH Julia Wenzel from Stuttgart's 2nd team.
I think, she will now do the next step, she was sometimes as dual license player even in first team, even had some short appearances in European Cups.
The new software makes the forum looking more fresh and will hopefully work now flawlessly, but the title entries of the posts vanished. I add now the team names as headers explicitly on first page as replacement.
And according to the article that concludes their planning. Once again a rather poor roster, the only enforcements compared to last season are Sagardia and Kosonen IMO. I'm surprised about Wivian staying, I thought she performed rather poor last season, no comparison to what she showed in Straubing before.
They have not even a second setter, so they must hope, that Sagardia stays healthy and can cope alone with the task. I think, they expect also an early end in DVV cup and just want to avoid being the last professional team this time again, not more.
Middles Emily Thater and Wivian Gadelha de Souza stay in Erfurt.
Surprisingly state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern doesn't allow state capital Schwerin to give additional 2 million Euro to SSC Palmberg Schwerin to upgrade the Palmberg arena. Typical both support their state standout sports team, therefore I'm pretty sure, that they decided correctly, that it would be totally illegal to allow Schwerin to support the extension of the hall financially. The core reason is the bad financial situation of state capital Schwerin. On the other hand I don't expect anybody to sue the state for such a positive decision. But politically this is of course a dangerous approach. Maybe Schwerin can find some private money to get things done? Let us wait, what will happen... details are hidden behind a paywall of svz newspaper online.
Suhl hires McKenzie Jacobson, a 2.03 m (!) tall middle from USA (Arizona Wildcats). This is a new record in this league, because so far another US middle from Dresden a few years ago hold the record in height with 1.98 m.
Interesting transfer for Suhl: they sign former JNT captain Steffi Kuhn. She was in Dresden's roster some years ago but decided to focus on her job education and played only 2nd league for a while, now she decided to pursue her volleyball career again more intensely. She was one of the more talented players of 96/97 generation, so if she can get back to that she can be a good prospect.
Yes, I remember her well, and wasn't aware anymore, if she was still active at all. She was both good in reception and in attack, we will see, how she performs with one of the underdog teams of the league.