VNL 2024 - News

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Heynen will add younger players to the veteran core that competed at last year's FIVB World Championship

Several players are expected to get their first opportunities to play with the German women’s national team during the Volleyball Nations League 2023 as head coach Vital Heynen included numerous new faces in his 30-player roster for the upcoming international season.

From the 30 players selected by the veteran Belgian coach, 15 have never played for their country’s national team and several of those will most likely get on the court at some point during the German campaign.

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The roster selected by Heynen, however, also has players with tremendous international experience, such as outside hitter Lena Stigrot, opposite Saskia Hippe and middle blocker Marie Schölzel, who have all represented Germany in over 100 international matches. Two of the team’s most important players in the 2022 season, outside hitter Hanna Orthmann and libero Anna Pogany are also back with the squad.

Heynen brought back the vast majority of the squad that finished 14th at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship, with longtime captain and outside hitter Jennifer Janiska, who announced her international retirement shortly after the event, and opposite Kimberly Drewniok being the only exceptions.

“We have a good mix of young and experienced players,” Heynen commented. “We’re all very motivated and we’ll give everything. We hope everyone remains healthy and that we get to have fun. But, of course, our main goal is to qualify for the Olympics.”

Among the new faces, one that stands out is 16-year-old outside hitter Leana Grozer. The daughter of longtime German men’s national team opposite Georg Grozer, she had some success with the German youth national teams and earned her first call-up to the senior squad this season.

Grozer CEV

Grozer in action during last year's U17 European Championship (Photo: CEV)

The Germans will be in Nagoya, Kapan, in the opening week of the VNL 2023, from May 30-June 4, when they will face the Netherlands, Croatia, China and Bulgaria. Before their trip to Japan, the Germans will play a friendly match with Ukraine in Berlin on May 20.

In 2023, the team will also compete in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where they will play against Colombia, Italy, Korea, Poland, Slovenia, Thailand and USA, and the European Championship, with the country hosting the preliminary round in Düsseldorf.

Germany women’s national team full roster:

Setters: Corina Glaab, Meghan Barthel, Pia Fernau, Pia Kästner, Sarah Strube
Opposites: Emilia Weske, Lara Berger, Marie Hänle, Rica Maase, Saskia Hippe
Outside hitters: Antonia Stautz, Hanna Orthmann, Helena Dornheim, Laura Emonts, Leana Grozer, Lena Stigrot, Lina Alsmeier, Pia Leweling, Romy Jatzko, Vanessa Agbortabi
Middle blockers: Anastasia Cekulaev, Barbara Wezorke, Camilla Weitzel, Luisa Van Clewe, Marie Schölzel, Monique Strubbe, Sophia Fallah
Liberos: Anna Pogany, Annie Cesar, Elisa Lohmann

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