After winning the 29th edition of the Montreux Volley Masters last year, the Germans had a good start in their opening game tonight after defeating Italy in four sets (25-20, 25-15, 21-25, 25-23).
The first set saw too many unforced errors on the unsmooth Italian side (40 errors in total for the match), which facilitated the task for the Germans and enabled them to win on the score of 25-20.
In the second game, despite three substitutions, Italy’s head coach Marco Bonitta did not manage to bring his players back in the game to disturb the Germans. On the contrary, Germany remained very strong and quickly ended the set 25-15.
The public in Montreux did not expect such developments in the third set. After a rather balanced start with nice plays on both sides, the Italians came back strong and motivated, leaving their opponents with only 21 points at the end of the set.
Back in the game and fully energized for the fourth game, the Italians confounded their opponents. Looking for some fresh air, Germany’s new coach Luciano Pedulà chose to change his setter; Denise Hanke came in for Mareen Apitz. The strategy seemed to have eventually worked as at the end of this very tied game since it turned to the advantage of the Germans (25:23) , enabling them to start this 30th edition with a victory.