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2024 VNL Season

Germany ends VNL season with sweep over Iran


Germany closed out its up-and-down 2024 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League season on a high note with a rousing sweep of Iran, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Eagles finished the preliminary round with their fifth win against seven defeats, while the Asian side ended with a 2-10 win-loss record.

Despite the Iranians keeping the frames close, Germany found some breathing room in the third and final set with their two Moritzs and outside hitters, Karlitzek and Reichert, providing the kills.

Eventually, the Germans secured the match, fittingly, with a Karlitzek kill before the defense forced an attack error on Morteza Shafiri.

For the Europeans, it was a significant win as they hope to capitalize on this VNL experience heading into the Olympics in Paris next month—their first since London 2012.

“We’re super happy that we could finish the VNL this year for us with the victory and go home with a good feeling,” said the 27-year-old Karlitzek, who started this match after coming off the bench in the past few days.

“The tournament was well-organized, and we love playing in front of the crowd. The fans, all the time, were supporting us, so I would like to thank them,” the Indykpol AZS Olsztyn winger added.

One thing that worked for the Europeans when they needed some points was their defense, with Julian Zenger and Moritz Reichert once more taking their stand against powerful Iranian hitters like Amin Esmaeilnezhad and Poriya Hossein Khanzadeh.

In turn, Germany setter and captain Lukas Kampa was able to find his points of attack, with Karlitzek finishing with 17 kills, two blocks, and two aces for a total of 21 points to pace the winning side.

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Reichert also contributed 13 points, all from attacks, to augment his defensive work of three digs and four excellent receptions, while Zenger finished with eight digs and four excellent receptions as well.

Amin ended with 19 points for Iran on 17 kills, one block, and one service ace, while Poriya added 13 attacks for the multiple-time Asian champions.

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