After the significant defeat against Italy and the missed direct Olympic qualification, the German volleyball players became disillusioned.

“We had problems bringing yesterday’s level to the field,” said captain Anna Pogany after the 3-0 defeat in Lodz. “We all have to play well. If one or the other doesn’t perform at the same level, we have problems,” said coach Vital Heynen.

But the truth is also: the Germans had kept up against the Poles the evening before, but like too many times this summer, the game was narrowly lost in the end. Even before the last group game of the Olympic qualifying tournament, the selection of the German Volleyball Association no longer has a chance of getting one of the two tickets for Paris. Germany is currently one step behind the absolute top teams in the world.

The team didn’t play the volleyball it wanted to, Pogany said. “These are all top teams and they exploit our weaknesses mercilessly,” said the 29-year-old Libera. The group was strong. “With Italy, USA and Poland as hosts in one group, you don’t have to talk about a ticket right away,” said coach Heynen.

In the final game against the USA, the team was only concerned with points for the world rankings. But the Olympic champions were also too strong and won 3:1 (24:26, 25:21, 25:9, 25:16).

Next June, the rankings offer one last chance for the Germans to take part in the Olympics for the first time since Athens 2004.

They still have a few points to make up for that. Here too, the accumulated victories in Lodz only brought the team forward to a limited extent. The narrow successes against Slovenia and South Korea hardly added any points to the list. In the Nations League next year, the German team now has twelve games left to move up the rankings.