The final standing in Pool D was decided in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ferdinand was the only FIVB Hero on the court after Argentina’s Facundo Conte was given some rest and Bulgarian Matey Kaziyski had declared his absence from the national team.
Germany needed only four points out of the last World League weekend to advance to the finals and was one hundred percent focused in its match against Argentina. Even with Ferdinand sitting on the bench, the team had no trouble defeating the South Americans 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-21). The second match between hosts Bulgaria and Portugal ended 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21).
With only one point separating it from the finals on day two, Germany were up against underdogs Portugal. In this decisive match, libero Ferdinand played a fantastic game and ensured some much needed stability in reception and defense. Cruising to an easy 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-20) victory, Germany proceed to the finals for the first time ever on their ninth attempt. The meaningless match between Bulgaria and Argentina ended saw the hometeam win 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 24-26, 25-11, 15-12)
On Sunday the decisions had already been made, so winning the last matches in Pool D was purely a matter of pride. Nonetheless, all the teams put up a good fight. After the Argentinians beat Portugal 3-2 (25-14, 17-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-9), Ferdinand’s team was up against hosts Bulgaria. Both teams played without pressure and showcased some great volleyball, but in the end strong serving helped Tille’s team to another win 3-2 (25-16, 24-26, 25-23, 25-27, 16-14).
Stay tuned at FIVBheroes.com for all the info about this year’s World League finals!