Women's handballers aiming to reach Final Four with win in Bensheim
Rather than battling for points in the Bundesliga or the EHF European League, the BVB women's handball team will next be competing for a place in the Final Four of the DHB-Pokal on Saturday (28/01). The team are away to HSG Bensheim/Auerbach in the quarter-finals. The Black & Yellows will go into the game as favourites and will be aiming to reach the last four of the cup competition for the first time since 2016.
Even though the women's handballers were not in action this midweek, they have been denied an optimal match preparation: a short training course with the German national team was scheduled in Kamen-Kaiserau on Monday and Tuesday, with several Black & Yellows taking part. "Nonetheless, we've prepared well for Bensheim in the past few days," said Henk Groener. The coach has taken another close look at the meeting between the two teams in the Bundesliga, which BVB won 28-22 in September. The latest edition of this fixture will "undoubtedly be a game that will demand everything of us. They're very up for it and hungry at home, but we are too – and my team is capable of holding their own."
Borussia will have to be especially wary of Lisa Friedberger. The right-hander is by some distance the sharpest shooter in the opposition squad and is averaging 5.4 goals per game in the league. The rest of the goals have been spread across a number of players, including Dionne Visser and Lucie-Marie Kretzschmar. Not just this trio, but the entire Bensheim team play "with a lot of enthusiasm and a high tempo. We'll certainly need to beware."
Bensheim boss Heike Ahlgrimm constantly tries to create new tactical challenges for the opposition and regularly fields different defensive formations. "You don't see that in the league so often; we'll have to be well prepared for that," warned Groener. However, he is confident and has a full squad at his disposal with the exception of Harma van Kreij. Dana Bleckmann, who rolled her ankle in Besancon, is back in contention to play, as is the recently injured Lisa Antl.
From a purely statistical viewpoint, the omens are for a Dortmund victory are good. BVB have won all their matches against Bensheim since December 2012. Qualification for the Final Four appears within reach and "we absolutely want to go to Stuttgart and be involved in this event," declared the interim head of department Rupert Thiele. Throw-off for the match in Bensheim is at 18:00 CET, with a free-of-charge broadcast on the streaming platform Sportdeutschland.TV.