August 17, 2003 - Following a 3-1 win on Saturday, the Netherlands have beaten Germany again, in a hard fought second match, in Luxembourg on Sunday, 3-2 (29-27, 27-29, 28-26, 27-29, 19-17).
Germany started with Frank Dehne, Marco Liefke, Ralph Bergmann, Norbert Walter, Björn Andrae, Wolfgang Kuck and Till Lieber as libero. The Netherlands started with Reinder Nummerdor, Nico Freriks, Richard Schuil, Mike van de Goor, Jeroen Trommel, Rob Bontje and libero Marko Klok.
Like at the match on Saturday the Netherlands made the better start with an 8-5 lead but the German team caught up and the score see sawed from then on. The first set look to be going to the Dutch, however the brilliant play of Liefke brught Germany back to 24-23 and to set point. It was not enough; the Dutch fought hard and used their fourth set ball to seal the set 29-27.
Germany took an early 8-5 lead in the second but the Dutch didn’t give up. At 24-23 the German team had another set ball, but the Dutch defended again before an ace from Walter finished the set in favour of Germany 29-27.
In the third set the teams continued to fight. Especially Liefke for the Germans and Schuil for the Dutch. At 24-23 the German team had a set ball again, but Kuck made a service mistake. Trommel did it better and served an ace at the third Dutch set ball to win the set 28-26.
The fourth set was similar to the other sets as neither team could hold a lead. Germany defended two set balls before a series of hard serves caused the 29-27 for Germany.
Of course the tiebreak was not finished at 15 too: In the end a block of Trommel against Liefke was to decide the set in favour of the Netherlands, who used their fourth match ball to win 19-17.
Both teams are preparing for the European Championship final round in Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Berlin on September 5-14 and will meet again on August 21 and 25 before partipating in a four nation’s tournament in Olsztyn, Poland together with the hosts and Spain.
Despite the loss there was good news for the German team. Team leader Stefan Hübner continued to improve and “there shouldn’t be a problem at the European Championship”, said team doctor Dr. Dieter Heinold. However national coach Stelian Moculescu should not be too sure about the participation of Hübner in the forthcoming tournament in Poland after the Italian professional was injured again on Thursday. On Monday or Tuesday Moculescu will nominate 12 players for the tournament in Poland. This squad is likely to be the same for the European Championship.