Nafter the worst European Championship performance in 16 years, tears also flowed among the German volleyball players. Star attacker Louisa Lippmann & Co. crashed at the semi-finals they had set themselves and had to leave Bulgaria bitterly disappointed after the round of 16. The dream of an EM medal remains unfulfilled for this really hopeful generation.
“If you look at the elimination in the round of 16, then it is certainly disappointing. We wanted to at least get into the quarter-finals, ”said sporting director Christian Dünnes after the 1: 3 (22:25, 25:23, 19:25, 23:25) against the Netherlands on Saturday.
After Germany had reached at least the quarter-finals seven times in a row, it was the worst result since eleventh place in 2005. “I had a lot of confidence in the team and will continue to do so,” assured Dünnes after the surprising knockout in Plovdiv. “It’s a team that has a nice mix of experienced and young players with a lot of talent, who have already developed and will continue to do so in the years to come.”
“We didn’t have this constancy”
But the question is: Do diagonal attackers Lippmann & Co. also get medals? In 2011 and 2013, Germany won silver with the generation around Margareta Kozuch. Felix Koslowski was Giovanni Guidetti’s co-trainer at the time. After helping out at the German Volleyball Association (DVV) as head coach at the end of 2015, he has also been the official national coach since the beginning of 2017. The Olympic qualification was missed twice, twice it was enough for the quarter-finals at the EM (2017 and 2019). Germany finished eleventh at the 2018 World Cup in Japan.
To come to terms with the early EM elimination, which began that night in the hotel, the question of the future of the club coach from SSC Palmberg Schwerin will also be part of the process. “We had a lot of difficulties with their outside attackers. They hit over the block and in all directions, “said Koslowski, looking at Anne Buijs (28 points) and Nika Daalderop (22), who dominated the offensive.
Above all, Buijs played “consistently from the first to the last point. We didn’t have that consistency, ”said the national coach after the thrilling test of strength in front of 670 spectators. Lippmann was again the best German attacker with 22 points. Lina Alsmeier took care of the offensive with 18 points.
In order to progress, Germany should have acted more stably if the service was accepted. Dünnes complained that there was also a lack of pressure on the serve. But it was also a matter of the head. “We felt a lot of pressure, and they downplayed it consistently with people who have a little more experience than us,” said Koslowski. Captain Jennifer Janiska referred to “many little things” that would make the difference at such a level. And that includes the pressure in a knockout game.
What now? In the end, this European Championship remains a tournament of missed opportunities. Especially when you look at the quarter-finals where Sweden would have waited. The Scandinavians sensationally got rid of Bulgaria, which was rated much more strongly. “We lacked quality in a couple of areas,” admitted thinly, contrite. “Now it is important that we work on it next year. The potential is there, but we have to make use of it. “