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Germany earn gold at Montreux Volley Masters 2014

Germany's women and coach Giovanni Guidetti’s celebrate their first triumph in history of the Montreux Volley Masters.

Montreux, Switzerland, June 1, 2014 – Germany claimed gold at the 29th edition of the Montreux Volley Masters on Sunday, leaving the USA in second place.

In a thrilling final match, the coach Giovanni Guidetti’s team overcame the USA 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 25-21) to celebrate their first triumph in history of the Montreux Volley Masters.

The best scorer of match was German captain Margareta Kozuch with 19 points, while Kelsey Robinson contributed 16 kills for the USA.  

The Germans, confident after Saturday’s straight-set win over China, kick started their duel with World No. 2 USA. Setter Mareen Apitz quickly found her rhythm, putting Margareta Kozuch and Heike Beier on the wings and Stefanie Karg and Christiane Fürst in the middle in promising positions. Rachael Adams, Kelsey Robinson and Kristin Hildebrand answered with some blistering winners for the USA, but could not stop the German offense in the first set. Beier and Karg ended the first set with a block kill in Germany’s favour (25-19). It was only the third set defeat of the US team during the whole tournament.

During set break, USA’s head coach Karch Kiraly found the right words to put his players back on track. USA’s block strategy started to work like Swiss clockwork, while the German defence could not live up to the success in the opening set. USA libero Nicole Davis, who represented the United States at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, helped her teammates with exceptional defensive play. Germany did their utmost to bounce back, but could not cope with the precision and speed of their USA opponents, at that moment of the gold medal clash. After 28 minutes, USA closed it out 25-19 in their favour.

German head coach Giovanni Guidetti brought in Kathleen Weiss for Mareen Apitz early in the third set, resulting in creating new offense patterns in the German game. Both teams showed great fighting spirit, causing hurricane of applause from the delighted audience. USA tried to adapt their game plan to the setter change of their contenders but could not find an appropriate answer to stop the German offense power. Captain Margareta Kozuch found a gap in the US block to regain momentum at the end of the third set (25-17).

With 1-2 sets down, USA needed a quick reaction to avoid their first defeat at the Montreux Volley Master 2014. The US ladies progressively took more risk from the service line in order to put more pressure on the German passers. Nevertheless, it was a game of cat-and-mouse with no predictable winner of the fourth set until 21-21. It needed the experience and power of German middle blocker Christiane Fürst who scored three consecutive points to bounce the “Schmetterlinge” in heaven.

“I am proud of my ladies,” said German head coach Giovanni Guidetti. “We managed to control the game with a good balance of risk and control. Our strategy to alternate our two setters worked very well.”

Lenka Dürr, best libero and best defence player of the tournament, was surprised by the nomination.

“I usually need some time in the beginning of the season with the national team,” Dürr said. “However, my teammates helped me a lot to play on my best level.”

RUS - CHN 3-2 (19-25, 25-19, 17-25, 25-22, 15-11)

The Russian team ended the tournament with a victory in five sets over China in the match for third position. The best scorer on the Russian side was Natalia Malykh with 23 points while China was led by Zhu Ting and Zeng Chunlei with 19 points each.

The match for third place between China and Russia started in a balanced way, with none of the teams able to take advantage of the other. However towards the end of the set Ruoqi Hui and Zhu Ting scored some key points for the Chinese. At the same time Russia started to make more mistakes. China took advantage of it to conclude the set 25-19.

From the beginning of the second set, Russia reacted strongly with a series of nice blocks to take the lead 16-12. Ekaterine Kosianenko and her teammates managed to keep the positive gap until the end to close 25-19.

In the third set Lang Ping’s team had impressive plays and scored various points on blocks. Across the net, as in the first set, they committed many unforced errors. China increased their lead to win the set 25-17. Both teams gave everything they could in the fourth set and were not able to make the difference. But this time Yuri Marichev’s team prevailed to finish the set 25-22. Russia and China were tied in the beginning of the tiebreak. Finally, with strong kills from Natalia Malykh the Russians finally won the set 15-11 to finish in third place at the Montreux Volley Masters.

BRA – JPN 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-11, 25-22)

In the game for the fifth place, Brazil defeated Japan 3-1. Carol (17 points) and her Brazilian teammates were able to overcome Arisa Takada (12 pts) despite committing a large number of unforced errors (30 pts in total).

The Japanese started well into the game, being able to put pressure on the double Olympic Gold Medallists who committed many mistakes (13 for the set). Further on, setter Natsumi Fujita brought large diversity to Japan’s offensive game with quick and well-timed sets. Japan won the set 25-19. To reverse the situation, the South Americans started to bring their offensive play to the middle. The Brazilians started to reduce the number of mistakes committed and won the set 25-20.

In the third game, Brazil kept using the same strategy. Middle blockers Carol and Adenizia were unstoppable at the net and with their offensive tactics while libero Camila Brait did a great job with reception. The Japanese didn’t get a chance in the set and were shot down by Brazil 25-11. However Mayoshi Manabe’s team didn’t abandon hope and still believed in victory. Japan improved their defensive game and were always able to shorten the deficit but at the very end the Brazilians were too strong and won 25-22.

Individual Awards

Best Server: Adams Rachael (USA)
Best Receiver: Scherban Yana (RUS)
Best Setter: Kosianenko Ekaterina (RUS)
Best Spiker: Brinker Maren (GER)
Best Blocker: Da Silva Ana Carolina (BRA)
Best Digger: Dürr Lenka (GER)
Best Libero: Dürr Lenka (GER)
Best Scorer: Malykh Natalia (RUS)
Most Valuable Player: Kozuch Margareta (GER)

Final Ranking

1. Germany
2. USA
3. Russia
4. China
5. Brazil
6. Japan
7. Dominican Republic
7. Switzerland


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