Ottawa, Canada, June 8, 2018 - Germany continued their brilliant VNL resurgence as David Sossenheimer and Moritz Reichert helped shock the USA 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-13).
The team ranked no12 - fresh from sending previously unbeaten Poland crashing to their first defeat last week - totally dismantled the second best side on the planet in remarkable fashion as Sossenheimer (10 spikes, one block and one ace) and Reichert 12 points (11 spikes and an ace) produced a stunning performance to leave the US with plenty to work on.
It was a night to forget for the Americans who racked up 21 errors compared to 13 from their opponents - Jake Langlois with 12 points and Aaron Russell (10 points) were the best performers yet unfortunately for those of a Stars and Stripes persuasion, not enough of their players came to the party.
“It feels pretty nice, we started well and just kept fighting, " said middle blocker Tobias Krick who finished with a vital nine points and looked like he could barely believe what had transpired.
“Maybe we just do well against the top teams.“
This was a quite remarkable performance from Germany as every point was celebrated wildly by players and the coaching staff. And why not?
Their first three VNL matches all ended in defeat and don’t forget their last performance in the VNL saw that stunning , shock win over a Poland team who were on fire and flying high.
And led by Reichert, Sossenheimer and Hirsch, Giani Andrea’s team were irresistible and simply were too hot to handle for a US team who were carrying a hangover from that dramatic five set defeat to Brazil last time out.
The momentum was with the Germans from the very start and remained with them until the end.
Amazingly, the Americans, bronze medallists at the Rio Olympics, had to wait until the start of the second set to taste the lead for the very first time. They were always on the back foot as their VNL hopes took a huge dent.
The opening set was impressive from Andrea’s side. They may have been assisted by a raft of errors from the other side of the net but their all round game was firing on all cylinders. Their serve in particular was a source of great moments for Germany who last tasted victory in a world level major competition over the US way back at London 2012.
Noah Baxpohler’s work at the net was superb, his kills deflating the Americans who looked all at the sea. Five set points swiftly appeared and Sossenheimer delivered the killer spike to put Germany right in the driving seat.
US coach John Speraw looked totally shellshocked, hardly able to believe what was transpiring in Ottawa. He wasn’t the only one.
And it wasn’t long before his mood darkened even further. Russell was finally finding his service power but a combination of American mistakes and superbly consistent play from the full of confidence Germans saw them race away with the set once again.
The stunned crowd in attendance would have been steeling themselves for a US revival yet it never came. A similarly remarkable third set was incredibly one-sided. A fifth ace by the brilliant Baxpohler put Germany on the brink a 22-10 and not long after, an incredible 12 match points were on the table and although the first one wasn’t taken, US skipper David Smith served into the net to put the seal on one of the worst defeats in US history.
You could not, however, take anything away from the Germans who take on hosts Canada tomorrow riding the crest of a wave.