On August 17, the German Women’s National Volleyball Team will kick off their European Championship campaign in Düsseldorf. Coach Vital Heynen has selected a 14-player team for the tournament, reflecting on their dedication during their recent Volleyball Nations League (VNL) adventures.
Captain Lena Stigrot expresses the team’s anticipation: “The excitement is palpable. After our global VNL travels, we’ve had a fortnight to rest and recharge.” Their intensive training began on August 1st in Kienbaum, with all members eagerly participating, indicating strong team spirit and work ethic.
The team, fondly known as “Schmetterlinge” (Butterflies), recently won two closed-door test matches against the French team. Stigrot says, “These wins set the tone for the main event, and we aim to carry the same energy from VNL into the European Championship.”
Coach Heynen trusts his VNL performers for the championship. Notably, Laura Emonts, a seasoned player, returns after a knee injury hiatus, and Rica Maase is also back in action. Their first match is against Greece at Düsseldorf’s CASTELLO.
Despite the enthusiasm, Heynen is realistic. While the immediate focus is EuroVolley, the bigger goal remains the Paris Olympics. The coach emphasizes the importance of every match for world ranking points, which could pave their way to the Olympics. Optimistic, Heynen concludes, “In sports, surprises are always possible.”
14-player squad for the European Championship
Setters – Pia Kästner, Corina Glaab
Opposite – Rica Maase
Outside hitters – Antonia Stautz, Lina Alsmeier, Lena Stigrot, Hanna Orthmann, Laura Emonts
Middle blockers – Marie Schölzel, Anastasia Cekulaev, Camilla Weitzel, Monique Strubbe
Liberos – Anna Pogany, Annie Cesar