Generali Sport Arena, Unterhaching - Generali Haching remain undefeated in the Volleyball Bundesliga by dispatching winless RWE Volleys Bottrop 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-20) Wednesday night.
Haching sported their second team on the court against the undermanned Volleys. Only German international Denis Kalibreda from the regular starters played. He earned 16 points on the evening and was named MVP of the Match.
Bottrop were able to get the first points of each of the first two sets and kept it close till the first technical timeouts. In the opening set, they were game and battled throughout, despite only dressing six of the seven players that traveled to Bavaria.
The talent displayed by Kalibreda was too much for the Volleys to handle and he closed out the first set with four of his kills and an ace.
"We could have been more solid in attack," said Kalibreda. "We may have lost concentration on some of the balls. Overall, we can be satisfied with a 3-0 win."
The story of the second set was more about errors by RWE. At 8-7, three consecutive errors by the visitors broke up a tight set. A 17-5 run later, the set was over at 25-12.
The final set was a coming out party for youngster Thomas Strohbach. The 20-year-old played in his first league match for Haching, earning 10 points on the night. Strohbach's kills were the difference in the final stanza.
"I made some dumb mistakes, so I'm not completely satisfied," admitted Stroh on his debut. "We can all play a bit better, but it was my first match, it was nice."
"Thomas is the player on our squad that has developed the most," remarked head coach Mihai Paduretu. "He's a fanatic regarding his game. He's the first one in and last one out for our practices."
With five league matches left, Haching are the favorites to clinch the top seed in the league's playoffs. They have an important date on March 4th against VfB Friedrichshafen, their main rivals and current 2nd placed team, to battle for the domestic cup. Generali will try to win their fourth consecutive DVV Pokal.
At the post match press conference, head coach Mihai Paduretu however focused on their upcoming CEV Champions League Final 12 Round opponent, Lokomotiv Novosibirsk from Russia.
"Lokomotiv plays power volleyball," analyzed Paduretu. "They will be the toughest opponent we will see, we have not seen anyone like this before."
The Champions League match on Wednesday, February 1st will be a highly anticipated clash against a formidable opponent. Get your tickets early, the place will sell out. First serve at 20:30 CET.