Leon, Mexico, June 18, 2017 - Closing their FIVB World League campaign, Germany proved too strong for a very spirited side of Mexico and in the end celebrated 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 26-24) with 16 points of Simon Hirsch
that were essential to reach Group 3 3rd place.
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Hirsch emerged as the only player in Germany with double numbers, but this was also due to the rotation of players decided by coach Andrea Giani. Youngster Tobias Krick
followed Hirsch with 8 points and captain Christian Fromm
ranked after with 6. For Mexico, Jorge Barajas
charted 11 tallies and Daniel Vargas
Taking into consideration last FIVB World League edition, Germany dropped one place in the final ranking, as in 2016 they were second placed behind winners Slovenia. Mexico featured on a Final Round for the first time.
It was very much neck-and-neck at the start of the opening set, with Fromm producing a massive spike to put Germany in front (7-5), only for Pedro Rangel
to respond with a terrific block for Mexico (7-7). After a couple of serving errors Hirsch finished off two rallies in quick succession (12-11), but Barajas once again got the hosts on level terms (13-13). Germany had more in the tank as the set wore on, with two more spikes from Hirsch giving them a four-point lead before they comfortably saw it out (25-19).
German wing spiker Ruben Schott
was one of the standout performers in the first set, and his superb spike kept Andrea Giani's side in the driving seat in the second (9-6). The Germans were dominating in both attack and defence, with Marcus Boehme
's massive block keeping them on top (13-7). After more good work from Schott, Mexico sent a serve into the net to allow the visitors to pull clear once again (19-15). Fromm kept them ticking over with a delicately-weighted touch, before Jan Zimmermann
put them into a two-set lead with a clever dummy spike (25-19).
fired a superb ace at the start of the third as Germany established a four-point lead by the first technical time-out (6-2), but Rangel and Gonzalo Ruiz
got the home crowd going as they cut the gap to just two points (11-9). The Germans began to slip through the gears heading towards the sharp end of the set with more excellent spiking from Hirsch, (21-17), but Mexico went on a superb run and Ruiz raised the roof when he levelled things up (23-23). The hosts managed to save one match point, but Germany made no mistake with the second as Reichert found the decisive gap (26-24).