Showdown between Schwerin and Potsdam
JEvery good story has a history. That of Pia Kästner, Schwerin heroine at 3:1 victory in the volleyball cup final against Potsdam, begins with a defeat. Four years earlier at the same place, also in Mannheim, also in the cup final. But against Schwerin. “You’re so good,” Schwerin’s coach Felix Koslowski tried to console the player who was still playing for Stuttgart at the time: “You’ll still win the cup.”
Four years later the prophecy was to be fulfilled. Pia Kästner won the cup. And the title of most valuable player at that. “I have to bring this thing home” was her plan. “All the better that she brought him with us,” laughed Koslowski.
Another four weeks later, Pia Kästner and SSC Schwerin will face SC again on Saturday (5 p.m. live on Sport1). Potsdam – and this time about the best possible starting position for the play-offs in the championship. Before the showdown in Schwerin, the teams are tied in second and third place. Whoever wins can finish second in the regular round – and then enjoy home advantage in the likely semi-final against the Northeast competitor in the decisive match.
For SC Potsdam, it’s also about working through the club trauma of never having won “silverware”, apart from the “Supercup” 2022. The honorary title of recently being voted “Team of the Year” in Brandenburg did not change that. “Our players have conquered the hearts of volleyball all over Germany,” said club president Andreas Klemund afterwards: “They inspired a lot of people with their style of play.”
Among other things, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who recently took part in a taster session on International Women’s Day – and received praise from captain Laura Emonts: “He did quite well,” said the 31-year-old, who found it particularly remarkable “that he even tried”. Scholz took off his jacket to hit a few balls with the women. He wasn’t entirely satisfied with his “performance as a player”, but he knew why. The last time he played volleyball at school, the 64-year-old confessed.
Meanwhile, the record champions from Schwerin can also point to good economic figures. “Record sales of 2.7 million euros” recently reported managing director Christian Hüneburg. The well-connected club counts 125 partners from the region as sponsors. The contracts with five top performers, including Pia Kästner, and with the head coach were promptly extended.
He loves it when his players act “action-oriented” – it’s one of the 38-year-old’s favorite words. “You don’t have to jump higher and hit harder,” Koslowski preaches before important games: “Just play the basics” – but do them right, like when you win the cup.
Afterwards he also had sympathetic words ready for the Potsdam players – garnished with the prognosis that they too will win trophies. Doesn’t have to be against Schwerin. Some of them, including setter Sarah van Aalen, are Dutch internationals, and Koslowski has recently become their national coach. But this is another story.