More than 10,000 fans attend Germany's cup finals in Halle
News from the National Federations
Halle/Westphalen, Germany, March 4, 2013. Once more – for the eighth consecutive season – the final stage of Germany’s national cup was held at Gerry Weber Stadion in Halle with more than 10'000 fans in attendance (see picture by DVV/Conny Kurth). Generali UNTERHACHING and SCHWERINER SC could eventually seize the day by edging MOERSER SC and VC WIESBADEN in the men’s and women’s final respectively. Since 2006 – i.e. the first time the cup finals took place in Halle – some 80,000 people have got together there for the absolute highlight of the home season in Germany.
SCHWERINER SC needed only three sets to best VC WIESBADEN (25-20, 25-20, and 25-17) to retain the title they had claimed last year and seize the national cup for the fifth time in their history. “It couldn’t have been better for us and though the score was quite tight in set 1 and 2, in the third we could clearly impose our supremacy” libero Lisa Thomsen says.
On the other hand, the men’s final turned into a real drama with Generali UNTERHACHING that needed a tie-break to eventually best MOERSER SC (25-19, 23-25, 18-25, 25-22, and 15-10). This is the fourth title for the club from the outskirts of Munich. “In the end we could win mainly because we showed great team spirit” Simon Hirsch said after the awards ceremony. “I am literally thrilled with this win and I think we did deserve it”.
That unique success story is set to continue also in 2014. “The finals are an outstanding event and we already look forward to next year’s edition” Ralf Weber, CEO of Gerry Weber World, stresses. Tickets are already available for the 2014 finals. “However, we first have another major Volleyball event this coming September as we play host to the final round of the women’s European Champs. I can already promise that we will be working hard to deliver another first-class event” Weber adds.
The head coach of Germany men’s national team, Vital Heynen, was also very impressed as he followed the finals from the stands along with his family. “There are only very few events in the world where more than 10,000 people get together to follow a Volleyball match and this is a unique experience for the players”.
Some 1,200 fans – twice as many as last year – from Schwerin had found their way to Halle to support their heroines uniformly dressed in yellow jerseys. “The atmosphere here is just great” says Mitch, one of the drummers accompanying the SSC from the stands. They joined forces with 1,000 fans from Moers while the supporters of VC WIESBADEN and Generali UNTERHACHING also felt some kind of brotherhood but they were – all together – “only” 1,000.
“This was the most impressive experience I ever had as Volleyball coach” stresses the mentor of VC WIESBADEN, Andres Vollmer. “It is just great as you get into the hall and get to see this yellow wall” adds SCHWERINER SC team captain Denise Hanke.
“Events like the cup finals or the women’s EuroVolley are the best way to promote our sport here in Germany” the President of the German Volleyball Federation, Thomas Krohne, says. “There is no better chance to get good media exposure for Volleyball” he adds. ARD and ZDF – i.e. two of the major TV channels in the country – were also there and aired a short summary of the matches on Sunday. Other regional TV channels were there as well to make interviews and help Volleyball make the headlines.