Montreux, Switzerland, June 11, 2017- Day 5 of the Montreux Volley Masters saw the line-up for the grand finale of the 2017 showpiece decided, as Germany overcame Argentina to advance to the final. Brazil lie in wait, having avenged their Olympic defeat of 2016 with a resounding win over China in one of the tournament’s finest performances. The two finalists have already crossed swords once at this year’s competition, with Germany victorious in their Pool B clash, but focus will be the key aspect for both teams as Montreux waits in expectation for its next champion.
For Germany, maintaining focus is a necessity but remains a challenge, Felix Koslowski’s side having overcome the setbacks of an intense travel schedule to reach the Montreux final, having sealed qualification for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship the night before the Montreux Masters began.
“It’s an incredible feeling to reach the final”, said Germany’s Wing Spiker Jennifer Geerties following their semi-final victory over Argentina. “We’ve had around ten games in two weeks. It has been exhausting, and nobody expected us to reach the final. But this win is like the cherry on the cake for the entire fortnight.”
“Of course, playing for gold is a huge motivation, nevertheless we can’t hide that we are a bit tired, especially after travelling so far after such intense matches”, Geerties continued.
“Every day is training, every day a game, that makes it difficult to stay focused mentally. Now we must relax, rest, and re-focus ahead of the final. We won’t prepare for it any differently than before any other game”.
For Brazil, focus was the key not only in their victory over China, with the emotion that came with facing their 2016 conquerors on court once more, but it will also be the key to securing gold on Sunday afternoon, according to Opposite Spiker Rosamaria Montibeller.
“Brazil vs China is a clash that was worthy of a semi-final, and we played an incredible game against them”, she said. “They have incredible diversity in their attacking options, and we had to stay focused. If you lose it against a team like China, they take advantage.”
That focus was also vital in how José Roberto Guimarães’ side executed their game-plan, which was to figure out the strategy of the Chinese on court by studying their movements in-game in order to effectively combat them, rather than let the anger of 2016 get the better of them.
“We tried to study their game, figure out their game-plan, and it worked”, Rosamaria explained. “You can never think the set is already over, because the other team can come back. Their comeback in the third set was mostly thanks to an incredible performance from them.
“There is a rivalry between our nations, for sure. Their Olympic victory over us on our home soil was very much in our heads before the game, but it’s a different team out there this time, and a different occasion, that’s what we said to ourselves before the game”.
Having overcome that psychological obstacle, Rosamaria is keen for that focused to be retained, as they hope to settle one more score against the Germans, who have already gotten the better of them once at this year’s Montreux Masters, and form the final hurdle en route to gold.
“It was tough against China, but it will still be tough against Germany”, Rosamaria said. “We have to receive the ball better and position ourselves more effectively than we have been. The semi-finals are over and we have to put this win out of our minds, improve, and focus only on the final.”