Rcounterattack games like volleyball They are characterized by the fact that a match is only decided when the last point has been played and the match point has been converted. In this sense, the European Cup regulations have an imbalance that destroys tensions. Because in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup between VC Wiesbaden (VCW) and Igor Gorgonzola Norvara it was already clear who would advance to the final, when the match was far from over.

At 9:01 p.m. on Wednesday night, the guests from Piedmont took advantage of an attack to make it 25:21 in the third set, winning 2-1, and after the 3-1 victory in the first leg, the women from Wiesbaden were no longer there. able to add both games to catch up. The drop in tension on the field and in the stands was surprising: there was only half an hour left in the game.

Wiesbaden co-coach Christian Sossenheimer, who led the team on behalf of Benedikt Frank, who was injured with a torn patellar tendon, changed all the regular players for the fourth set to free them for future duties. The substitute around the young point guard Pauline Bietau did a good job, even leading 10:6 and 14:13, but the all-star ensemble on the other side also let the VCW B team have their way. Only when the set was coming to an end, Novara turned up the heat and won this round by 25:21 and the aggregate match by 3:1.

VCW's European Cup campaign finished in third place: due to a lack of bronze medals, something the European association had not planned for, VCW CEO Christopher Fetting presented roses and prosecco to his players so they wouldn't have to leave. with empty hands. Fetting was very satisfied with the European adventure, not only in the sporting aspect but also economically; After all, VCW had eliminated such important teams as Galatasaray Istanbul and Paok Saloniki from the competition. Furthermore, the hall on German Unity Square was sold out three times in a row with 2,100 spectators.

The VC Wiesbaden players (in blue) gave their all: it was not enough against Igor Gorgonzola Novara

The VC Wiesbaden players (in blue) gave their all: it was not enough against Igor Gorgonzola Novara

Image: Detlef Gottwald

The VCW players around dominant diagonal attacker Jaidyn Blanchfield also drew a positive conclusion from their trip to Europe. As a side effect of the series of successes, the American traveled to Greece and Turkey for the first time, although only for two days each. He was denied a final visit to France against their final rivals Neptunes Nantes.

The disadvantage of the lack of a bronze medal was the drop in performance in the Bundesliga, which was added to the effort in the Challenge Cup. More recently, after a ten-hour bus trip from Novara to Suhl, the VCW team lost its last chance to get fifth place with a 3-1 defeat and thus to participate in the intermediate round of the best equipment.

Instead, VCW has to defend its position in the table against opponents from the bottom half of the table in order to attack again in the play-offs. On Saturday (5:00 p.m.) the home game against USC Münster continues, and since not only the players are tired, but also the fans, everyone can decide how much a ticket to the consolation round game is worth. What is certain is that the match will only be decided when the last ball hits the ground.