FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Germany win despite dropping first ever set against Kazakhstan


Germany extended their current record World Grand Prix winning streak to five matches thanks to captain Margareta Kozuch who top scored with 20 points

Montichiari, Italy, August 2, 2013 – Germany defeated Kazakhstan for the third time in as many World Grand Prix matches in their opening 2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix match 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-17).

The Pool E encounter saw Kazakhstan win their first ever set against Germany in the World Grand Prix having lost their previous two encounters in straight sets however the defeat equalled their all-time World Grand Prix losing streak record of 12 losses (2007-2008). Germany themselves extended their current record World Grand Prix winning streak to five matches thanks to captain Margareta Kozuch who top scored with 20 points. For Kazakhstan, Sana Jarlagassova and Tatyana Mudritskaya collected 17 points each.

It was Germany who led from the opening whistle but having opened a 10-7 lead, the world No. 8 seemed to switch off, allowing Kazakhstan, ranked 30th in the world, to claw their way back, tie the score at 19-19 and eventually secure the set win 25-23, their first ever against Germany having also lost their only other encounters – two in the World Grand Prix and one in the 2010 World Championships – in straight sets.

This shock result seemed to spur Germany into action and last year’s seventh-ranked side opened the second set with an 11-7 advantage. With Denise Hanke‘s incisive serving, Germany was able to hold on to their lead this time. However, as the match grew in competitiveness, Oleksandr Guntor’s charges started to dominant the defensive battle and improved on their counterattack, tying the set at 15-15. Germany put on the pressure again thanks to a crucial block from Christian Fürst which gave the favourites the two point lead they desperately searched for at 21-19 before setter Hanke sealed the set at 25-23.

Germany’s second set win seemed to break Kazakhstan’s spirit as the European champions powered home to a third set win 25-19 with Kozuch really starting to pull the strings for her side.

Coach Giovanni Guidetti also got stuck into his players and he saw immediate results in the fourth set as his side opened the fourth set 17-10 ahead before at 25-17 for only their second opening day victory in 14 appearances.

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