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Germany edge out Brazil in enthralling five-set bout

Montreux, Switzerland, June 7, 2017- Germany took a huge scalp on their return to the Montreux Volley Masters, Louisa Lippmann firing an outstanding 21 points to help her side shock Brazil 3-2 (17-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 13-15) after a three-hour bout at Salle Omnisports Pierrier.
Despite Brazil making the early headway in the opening set, the Germans upped the ante to close the gap, before taking an 11-15 lead with a succession of saves and blocks to come out on top in the key rallies. Germany continued to dominate the remainder of the set and close in on a 17-25 triumph to go 1-0 ahead, issuing a challenge for the Brazilians to respond.
And respond they did. The Selecao came out aggressively in the second set, Tandara Caixeta the one to watch as their spiking game gave them the impetus to grind out a 7-2 lead in the second set. Determined not to be outdone, the Germans pursued the Brazilians throughout, with a tight score of 16-13 in the South Americans’ favour, and then a 21-19 scoreline going into the closing exchanges. Both going at it tooth and nail, Brazil proved their credentials as contenders with a 20-25 second set win to restore parity.
The third set swung back in favour of the Germans, who held a 3-7 advantage going into the first time-out of the set, with them just having the edge to win a series of highly charged rallies. The Germans didn’t seem to be letting up at 14-17, yet Brazil found a way to unlock their cast-iron defence, with a string of aggressive shows of play at the net to snatch an 18-15 advantage. The score was deadlocked at 20-20 going into the closing stages, but Germany, who had started the stronger, were determined not to let the set slip away, pressing home a 22-25 third set win to restore their lead at 2-1 overall.
With the action drawing near midnight and both teams tiring, particularly the Brazilians who will have felt the effects of yesterday’s win over Poland, there were several points scored that were owed to errors, with Germany edging into an 8-6 lead with the win in their sights. Yet the Brazilians dug in, rallying to 16-16 in an incredible effort to give the Germans no breathing space. Remarkably, the Brazilians, digging deep after two games in two days, were able to snatch a slender 20-19 lead, and wrestled the set from the clutches of Germany, Drussyla’s emphatic spike clinching the set 25-23, sending the game beyond midnight and guaranteeing at least a point for their exploits.
Despite having secured at least a point, the Brazilians didn’t give up the ghost in the hunt for all three, although their tiredness showed as Germany accumulated an 11-5 lead. Despite Tandara helping cut the gap to 8-12, the quality of Maren Brinker and Marie Scholzel alongside the impressive Lippmann proved too much for the Brazilians, as the Germans finally ran out 13-15 winners to the delight and relief of coach Felix Koslowski. They can enjoy getting their campaign off to the ideal start going into their match-up with Thailand, whilst Brazil can still fancy their chances of progression, their point enough to keep them top of Pool B with four points.

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