Tehran, Iran, June 23, 2018 - Noah Baxpohler led the way for Germany as they made light work of rock-bottom Korea to seal their second VNL win on the spin 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-19).
The Germans were pushed all the way by Bulgaria on Friday in a five set thriller but the Asians have not beaten their European opponents since 1994 and that run was in no danger of coming to an end in this completely one-side affair.
Korea were no match for the all-round game of Germany who had consistent scorers all over the court to help extend their VNL record to seven wins and seven defeats. Baxpohler ended with 11 points - nine spikes and two blocks - while Christian Fromm (nine spikes) Ruben Schott (seven spikes and two blocks) and Simon Hirsch (six spikes and four blocks).
This was another testing afternoon for the Koreans who were once again indebted to Kwang-In Jeon who scored 14 points (13 spikes, one block). He had only Jae-Duck Seo’s 10 points for company.
It wasn’t all bad for Kim Hochul’s side who actually out-spiked Germany 38-37 though were out-blocked 10-2 which helped paved the way for their 13th defeat from 14 in this campaign as did 26 Korean errors.
Their worst run ever came at the 1993 World League where they lost 15. With just one game remaining, that sorry statistic will remain and even though both these sides were playing for pride, it was Germany who emerged far happier.
“We played better than we did in the first game, served much better and we had the patience,“ admitted Germany captain Christian Fromm. “It may look easy but you have to make sure you are playing all the time. We started with great focus and now we have saved some energy for tomorrow’s game.”
It wasn’t a good start from Andrea Giani’s side - they were unable to string more than four points together as Korea held their game together nicely and moved ahead midway through the first set.
But as we have seen time and time again during this VNL tournament, the Asian side are unable to keep the consistency and focus which has been critical. As their level began to dip, Germany took control and with Fromm on serve, a net touch handed them the opening set.
Kwang already had seven points but from that moment, it was all Germany. Wing spiker Ruben Schott stepped up to the plate in the second set, and his four points - he finished with nine - helped set the stall out as they established a healthy 12-8 lead and when Fromm again finished things off with a spike, the game was pretty much up.
Korea had been out-spiked 16-9 and even six errors from the Germans couldn’t help Hochul’s men who found themselves 16-9 down in the third, a position from which they were unable to recover from.