After a heart-stopping final, the berlin volleys have cemented the change of power in german volleyball. The team of australian coach mark lebedew defended their title at archrival vfb friedrichshafen and won the german championship for the fifth time.
With the razor-thin 3:2 (25:23, 25:22, 23:25, 22:25, 15:11) victory in front of 3300 spectators, berlin achieved the necessary third win in the best-of-five series in the fourth final – but the club almost squandered a 2:0 set lead. After the tingling summit meeting, however, the record champion from lake constance and coach stelian moculescu ended a season without a title for the first time since moculescu took office in 1997.
"I’m proud to represent berlin," said an overwhelmed lebedew. "We have made great advertising for our sport. We have fulfilled our mission," said a happy volleys manager kaweh niroomand. Moculescu, on the other hand, was fuming about the referee’s performance. The strong performance of the berliners, however, he acknowledged without envy. "Congratulations, they have dominated the whole season," said the 62-year-old, adding: "now I’m going on vacation."
Game four was the expected thriller – exciting from the very first minute. At first, neither team was able to pull away decisively in the first set, but at 21:18 vfb was clearly in front for the first time. But led by star player robert kromm, the guests approached. Friedrichshafen’s captain joao jose scored the promising 23:21 – but after that the vfb did not manage another point. The berliners, with diagonal attacker paul carroll again in strong form, won set one 25:23.
No desire for the first title-less season since 1997 – the fans of the club from lake constance loudly spurred on their players. Coach lebedev’s team kept a cool head also in the second set. At 19:14, the volleyball team seemed to have won the match, but the home team came back to win the match. In the end, kromm& co. Also the second passage with 25:22 surely one.
The twelve-time champions from lake constance got off to the better start in section three. 16:10 for the vfb was the interim result. The volleys did not give up, however, and shortened the game. Moculescu’s charges, however, narrowly took the third with a score of 25:23.
The thriller came to a head. The lead changed lively back and forth in section four. Then friedrichshafen pulled away to 22:19 and equalized after sets. The berliners went into the decision-making round almost noticeably crestfallen. After a 5:9 score, however, they got back on their feet and deserved to celebrate in the end.