Austria stun Germany as Berger shines with 25 points


Alexander Berger spikes

Linz, Austria, June 9, 2017 - Alexander Berger scored 25 points in front of 3500 spectators sealing Austria's 3-1 (25-20, 27-29, 30-28, 25-23) victory over World Cup third placed Germany in FIVB World League 2017.

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Austria got off to a good start and led 8-4 at the first technical time-out. Alexander Berger and his team triggered gushing enthusiasms from the audience. With a perfect service Paul Buchegger made the point for 16-12. But team Germany came back with the equalizer 17-17. Austria kept calm: with a gorgeous score from Berger initiated a 5-0 run. Shortly afterwards, Nicolai Grabmüller grounded out first set point. Finally, the second set point was the decisive one – 25-20 to Austria.

In set two, team Germany had the better start and broke away 8-3. But with their fighting spirit Austria came back and leveled 14-14 after an awesome block from Peter Wohlfahrtstätter. However, Austria could not manage to go ahead. Simon Hirsch realized a 22-20 lead for Germany. At 22-24, the home team stood with their back to the wall. Nevertheless, Lorenz Koraimann fought off the second set point. After that, Austria even had three chances to win set two, too, but was not able to seal the deal. Germany closed it out at 29-27.

In set three Germany did not let up and changed a 10-12 deficit in a one-point lead. Ruben Schott scored two times for the guests in this phase of the game. Now the match was on a knife-edge. Mathäus Jurkovic put Austria in front again with a strong service at 22-20. But Germany leveled immediately and parried one set point off. The match was an open battlefield now. At first, the guests had the chance to close the set, then the home team forewent three set points. But the fifth set point released Austira as Wohlfahrtstätter scored the decisive point for 30-28 by blocking.

In the last set Austria played seamless. After a quick 8-3 lead, the team kept the match under control. After an ace by the 19-years old Jurkovic and a service error by Buchegger, Austria was with seven points ahead (19-12). At 24-19 Austria had five match points. But only the fifth and last one brought the decision (25-23) and a 3-1 victory.

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