Cabin fever: Volleyball players long for the start of the World Cup

Kienbaum (dpa) – Seven weeks can be a long time. With all the focus on sport that the Olympic and Paralympic training center in Kienbaum allows, at some point the German volleyball players and their coach found the tranquility and tranquility too much.

“It can definitely start slowly. In the last few days, a little cabin fever has spread,” says outside attacker Jennifer Janiska with a laugh a few days before the start of the World Cup in the Netherlands and Poland .

Janiska praises team spirit and team spirit

National coach Vital Heynen also agrees with his player. “Seven weeks were too long in the Kienbaum,” says the Belgian. “Five kilometers, then comes the first house where you can get something.” Next Sunday, the team will play the opening match of the preliminary round against Bulgaria (7 p.m. / in Arnhem, Netherlands. Then it’s against Kazakhstan, Serbia, the USA and Canada. The top four teams in the group advance to round two.

Everyone, including diagonal attacker Lena Stigrot, praises the preparation and the conditions. The team found their rhythm and worked meticulously. And apparently it didn’t dampen the atmosphere. “I have to say that I haven’t experienced such team spirit in a long time,” says Janiska. “Everyone wants the tournament to start now.” This is raised from dealing with each other via a phrase. The 53-year-old coach and his players keep joking during the conversation. Sayings go both ways.

“It’s really an interesting mix we have,” says Stigrot. The mix of younger and older players fits well. Some players in particular, such as Laura Emonts from SC Potsdam, who are back after a long break, would fit in very well with the team. “It’s difficult for opponents to prepare for Germany ,” says Heynen. “We have 14 jokers.” The team is variable, can play a more classic system, but also the new one with three specialists for acceptance.

Above all, Heynen wants to see good performances

The changeover for Heynen, who, after long and successful years as a men’s coach, dared to make the leap to the women’s team at the beginning of the year, continues. “Of course I learned a lot, but almost every day I still think: Wow, I didn’t think about it,” says the Belgian. It is a change of perspective that could do any man good. The adaptation is a challenge and an enrichment at the same time. “We’re like sponges that absorb his experience and the confidence he has in his teams,” says Stigrot.

The team is in an intermediate phase after exceptional player Louisa Lippmann switched to beach volleyball. In the Nations League in the summer, the team narrowly missed out on the final round. “We definitely want to get through the preliminary round,” says Janiska about the goal for the World Cup. Above all, Heynen wants to see good performances. He has a longer term plan. “The goal of the team is to be back at the Olympics in three years,” says the Belgian with a view to the games in Paris. That has not been the case since 2004.

Heynen has precise ideas for his team’s performance at the World Cup. “I want to see dirty volleyball ,” he says. “Dirty, but without mistakes,” specifies Stigrot with a laugh.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220921-99-848553/4

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