German teams on top of the podium at Virtual Zonal tournament in Rottenburg
News from the National Federations
Rottenburg, Germany, September 15, 2013. The Virtual Zonal tournament – SunDays that through this weekend brought together teams from Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands in Rottenburg came to a close on Sunday with Germany’s Dollinger/Schröder (pictured) and Laboureur/Sude finishing first in the men’s and women’s competition respectively. The host country did almost sweep all medals there with the only exception being the bronze claimed by France’s Longuet/Adelin in the women’s tournament. The winners stroke 140 FIVB Ranking Points, while the silver and bronze medalists got 126 and 112 respectively.
After the all-German semis played on Saturday evening at Schätzle Beach Arena, the men’s competition resumed on Sunday with the bronze medal and final matches. After missing almost the entire season due to injury, Thomas Kaczmarek could be pretty happy with his comeback as he eventually settled for bronze together with partner Marcus Popp, a former member of Germany’s Volleyball national team. Kaczmarek and Popp needed only two sets to edge Wichard Lüdje and U19 World champion Clemens Wickler (21-14, 21-15) and strike bronze.
The second-seeded pair of the tournament that starred 12 teams, Armin Dollinger and Jonas Schröder, did eventually claim gold after routing their countrymen Philipp Arne Bergmann and Malte Stiel in straight sets (21-17, 21-17) in the final match. Dollinger and Schröder got their second medal in a CEV sanctioned tournament after winning bronze at the Vaduz Satellite in early August. France’s Edouard Rowlandson/Jean-Baptiste Daguerre, the first-seeded pair of the competition, was eliminated in the 1/4 finals by Germany’s youngsters Lüdje/Wickler.
“Very nice venue and great ambiance. We simply had a lot of fun and it feels great to win our first international tournament before the home crowd” commented Armin Dollinger.
After losing a very close semifinal match to Aulenbrock/Tillmann, France’s Laura Longuet and Melina Adelin avoided Germany would sweep all medals at the CEV Virtual Zonal tournament – SunDays as they beat Kim Behrens and Sandra Seyfferth in straight sets (21-19, 21-17) to settle for third place.
The final game did see the first (Laboureur/Sude) and second-seeded pair of the competition (Aulenbrock/Tillmann) cross their ways and play for gold. In the semis Laboureur/Sude had easily swept their countrywomen Behrens/Seyfferth 21-14, 21-13 while Aulenbrock/Tillmann had gone through a very close game before having the upper hand against Longuet/Adelin (21-14, 17-21, and 15-11). Laboureur/Sude started out very strong comfortably claiming the first set (21-12) but Aulenbrock/Tillmann drew level after a dramatic second set (25-27). Laboureur and Sude were able to regroup in the third and eventually brought it home (15-11) to claim first place. “It was a great tournament, the ambiance was just superb for the final game and we got the right boost from the audience” Laboureur said. “We are simply very happy to get the top spot of the podium”.
“After the first couple of days, as it was cold and rain poured down, we were not that happy. It was simply too cold and wet. However, on Sunday as the sun finally came out, we got full stands and this way we could compensate for that difficult start” said Stefan Schneider, the head of the local Organizing Committee.
For further information (only in German) visit also www.sun-days.info