The time of departure – volleyball

The volleyball third division teams from southern Baden start their new season this weekend. A lot is new in Freiburg, Umkirch and Offenburg, but the goals have remained the same.

The volleyball third division teams from southern Baden start their new season this weekend. A lot is new in Freiburg, Umkirch and Offenburg, but the goals have remained the same.

Because the smash artists of the region want to cope with their annual upheaval and manage to stay up in the league at an early stage.

Last season, the third division volleyball players of the VC Offenburg relegation on the last day of the game. And that’s where they get their confidence from. “I think the team will build on that experience this year,” says team manager Richarda Roth (formerly Zorn), who, as a long-time Bundesliga player, helped out last year when things got tight for the all-round rejuvenated team.

She says: “This year it will also be about staying up, but the focus is on training anyway.” Overall, the team has grown stronger. Louisa Seib, who once started in the second division, as well as Hannah Haas; and newcomer Lia Bondar make the team “more compact”, as Roth calls it.

Captain Ekaterina Baimler even says: “We want to show that we don’t have to fight relegation like last season, but can play at the top.” It would be the golden conclusion of the rejuvenation process and perhaps a first gentle attempt at renaissance of the successful Bundesliga period, when Offenburg won three titles within five years and dreamed of the Oberhaus.

60 kilometers further south they have to VfR Umkirch don’t look back that far to discover golden times. Almost everyone in the third division volleyball team would be satisfied with the squad from the past season. Because in Johanna Ewald, Sophie Schellenberger, Romy Glück and Annika Helf, coach Julian Hamacher has to do without four top performers from the previous round.

New, however, are the returnees Nele Birmele, Samira Roos and Lisanne Majovski as well as Annika Biedemann and Eva Ulrich. In addition, the Umkirchers hope that the diagonal attacker Sophia Bähr, who has experience in the second division, will come back during the season.

“The upheaval is even bigger than usual,” says Hamacher, whose whereabouts were uncertain for a long time. As a new father, he will share the coaching position with Philipp Mehne in the future. “He sets a lot of new impulses, it’s a lot of fun for two,” says Hamacher.

In view of so many personnel shifts, only staying up in the league counts for Umkirch for the time being. But it wouldn’t really surprise anyone in Breisgau if Hamacher managed to lead his team to fifth place like last season.

The competition also settles in similarly high table areas USC Freiburg on. Last season, the third-division volleyball players managed by player-coach David Kurz made it into the promotion round and ended up finishing fourth. And the squad again looks similarly accomplished on paper. Kurz himself played in the second Bundesliga for a long time, his best player, outside attacker Max Meuter, even in the first division.

Setter Marc Zimmermann and libero Philipp Frey also smashed in the second division. And all-rounder Lucas Wenz has already won the Baden-Württemberg championship in beach volleyball.

But as always, the devil is in the details at USC. Many of the deserving players are stepping down and will not play all games. “That’s why we entered into a cooperation with FT 1844 Freiburg,” explains Kurz. In the future, the 1844 talents Mauro Ebner (pass), Mathis Güttel and Johan Schöpsdau (both outside attack) will serve with double play rights at USC Freiburg. They should support the experienced team and gain experience themselves.

At the start of the season this weekend, however, the Kurz team will have to deal with a big chunk – away from home. A certain Jochen Schöps, who surprisingly won the Champions League with VfB Friedrichshafen in 2007 and became Germany’s first volleyball millionaire, smashes against Langen. The 38-year-old, born in Villingen-Schwenningen in 1983, last played for the first division club Frankfurt, which, however, withdrew from the top floor.

There are simpler opening programs than the USC men’s.