Novotel-Cup 2012 - Day 1
Lions start the 25th anniversary of the Novotel-Cup with two victories
by Anne Hasdorf
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It is about time. The 25th edition of the prestigious Novotel-Cup started yesterday with a fulminant triumph for the home teams as a well-earned birthday present.
The event started with the women's match between the youth selection of the German national team and England - the first, longest and the most hard-fought match of the day. In five sets both teams presented the spectators, among them 160 to 180 children from the school classes of Remich, Strassen and Dudelange whom the FLVB recently visited during the Lets Volley School Project, technical Volleyball at a high level. In the end, England could overcome the young team from Luxembourg's neighbour at 10:15.
In the first men's match, which started later due to the long-lasting women's match, Scotland encountered Denmark. Even though the sets were finished quite tight, Scotland could win the match 3:0.
Then it was Luxembourg's turn. The both final matches of the day were introduced by a new lightshow.
For the female selection it was the first official game with the new head coach Detlef Schönberg and right away a 3:0 victory. With captain Emeringer as setter, Mach and Braas as outside hitter, Hoffmann as diagonal and Steinbach and F. Welsch as middle blocker as well as M. Welsch as libero Schönberg could easily win in three sets at 16, 13 and 14. In the first set, both teams were at the same level. Luxembourg surprised with good combinations in the attack, put the Scottish reception with effective services under pressure and extended step by step its lead. In the second set, Luxembourg could quickly establish a lead over Scotland. At 11:9 a brilliant series of serves from Steinbach extended the lead to 20:9, finally leading to the 2:0 advance. In the third set Scotland seemed to have given up. A lot of self-made mistakes on the Scottish side led to a final score at 25:14.
The Luxembourgish men faced England in its first match of the Novotel-Cup 2012. Head coach Disch announced setter Braas, middle blocker Lentz and Angelsberg, outside hitter Laevaert and Stutz, diagonal player Vosahlo and libero Husi as his starting six. Powerful services from the lions unhinged the reception of the opponents, whereas England was able to cleverly use the Luxembourgish block to attack block-outs. Until 14:14 the set was a neck-and-neck race. However, by the end of the set Luxembourg was able to gain a small lead, above all as England was not able to get the well playing Voshalo under control. Lux entered the court for Angelsberg. 20:19, 20:20, 21:30:21:21; 21:22, 22:22; 23:22 until the Happy End for Luxembourg at 25:23.
Second set, same procedure. England kept on committing many mistakes in servicing whereas on the other hand the block worked very well. Luxembourg was not able to catch up and fell behind. The neck-and-neck-race continued until Luxembourg could again took the lead at 19:18. The lions received the first set point at 24:23 after a successful attack by Vosahlo. Following a serve into the net and an unfortunate reception mistake on the Luxembourgish side, England was able to balance the score by winning the second set at 24:26.
In the third set the home team could extend its lead shortly before the second technical time-out. Following the injury of its first setter Samuel Bragg, England lost its concentration. In the end, the lions easily won the third set at 25:17.
In the last set, England came back into play. Luxembourg quickly fell behind due to many reception faults and defence mistakes. Jungers entered the court for Braas at 6:11. Still Luxembourg could not catch up. At 9:16 Disch replaced Laevaert with Koenig. Successful blocks by Koenig and Lux then turned the tight. Luxembourg reduced the difference in points step by step and could finally catch up at 20:20, celebrating the first victory at 25:20.
Women's Team LUX: Alliaume, Braas, Breuer, Emeringer, Godart, Hoffmann, Mach, Palgen, Schmitt, Steinbach, Weber, F. Welsch, M. Welsch, Head Coach: Detlef Schönberg, Assistant Coach: Massimo Tarantini, Scout: Torsten Schoof, Physio: Mady Pelzer, Prep. Phys. Sonia Ilieva
Men's Team LUX: Angelsberg, Braas, Jungers, Koenig, Laevaert, Lentz, Lux, Maroldt, Stutz, Vosahlo, Libero: De Castro, Husi, Head Coach: Burkhard Disch, Assistant Coach: Michel Beautier, Scout: Dieter Scholl, Physio: Brigitte Schoos, Prep. Phys.: Sonia Ilieva
GER - ENG 2:3 (26-24;22-25; 22-25; 25-21; 10-15)
LUX - SCO 3:0 (25:16; 25: 13; 25:14)
SCO - DEN 3:0 (25:21; 25:20; 26:24)
LUX - ENG 3:1 (25:23; 24:26; 25:17; 25:20)