EIt was clear that it would be dangerous for the United Volleys in the capital. The champions, who resided there and were unbeaten at national level in the previous volleyball season, had not only suffered two Bundesliga defeats before the clash with the Frankfurters.
The Berliners, consisting mostly of foreign top players, also had to admit defeat to Netzhoppers KW Bestensee in the cup quarter-finals on Wednesday and thus delete one of three titles that can be won in this country from their list early on.
The Berliners, who were burning to make amends, presented themselves defiantly and aggressively when the visit from Hesse hit the empty grandstands in the Max-Schmeling-Halle on Saturday in front of the Corona-related empty grandstands. In the 0: 3 (18:25, 18:25, 17:25) defeat, with which the team of coach Juan Manuel Serramalera was sent into the night by their former libero Julian Zenger and his teammates, there was for United Volleys never stand a serious chance of turning the game around. Their counterparts dominated too much, led by the seemingly randomly scoring American Benjamin Patch (17 points), with a consequent offensive. They also let the attacks of the United attackers ricochet off their wall over and over again. “We were played by a very good team,” said Serramalera.
The formation of his colleague Cédric Énard no longer presented itself in such an impressive form. For United, this meant that the spark of hope that had just emerged on the Main was immediately extinguished. The triumph over the Bisons Bühl, which were surprisingly front runners in the league at the time, and the associated entry into the cup semi-final against VfB Friedrichshafen, which is scheduled for December 10th at Lake Constance, should represent a turning point in the season so far .
Lots of staff problems
Finally, after the many personnel problems of the past few weeks, Serramalera has a core team available whose potential can be expected again in the upper table regions. With a view to being in the lower half of the ranking, the Argentine points out that it takes time to get what is in the individual players and to form them into a well-functioning unit, after only two players were left from last season are.
A victory over Berlin was not to be expected. But with more resistance. At the first encounter with the favorite this autumn, at the Supercup, the second in the table last season annoyed him more, even though the only 18-year-old Ben Bierwisch made his Bundesliga debut in the external attack.
The biggest weakness of Serramalera’s selection is that apart from on the diagonal, where the former national team captain Jochen Schöps supports the current number one Daniel Malescha, there are no nearly equivalent alternatives available. To save money, the positions were supplemented by students from the second-class volleyball boarding school. With a view to the available forces, even the second appearance on this Berlin weekend was a challenge. Because less than 24 hours after the duel with the champions, the United Volleys still had to face the talent shed of the VCO Berlin.