BVB women's handballers win away to Halle-Neustadt
BVB won away to SV Union Halle-Neustadt, the third-bottom club in the Handball Bundesliga, by a 28-21 (15-8) scoreline. The most successful player was captain Alina Grijseels, who scored five goals.
The scenario: BVB went into the game in third place in the Bundesliga table, one point adrift of second-placed Thüringer HC. The Dortmund ladies had won the reverse fixture against Halle by a 34-24 scoreline.
The match & analysis: Having made the long journey by bus, BVB did not really settle into the game in the first 10 minutes, spurning some big chances or failing to beat the strong Anica Gudelj in goal. But after the score went to 3-3 and an early time-out was called, the Dortmund ladies subsequently defended more offensively, took their chances more consistently and went 13-8 ahead by the 25th minute. The margin grew even further in the final five minutes before the break. Although captain Alina Grijseels was rested, her side took in a 15-8 lead at the break. It was a pity that Mara Birk failed to beat Halle's goalie Gudelj shortly before the end of the first half. It would have been a first Bundesliga goal for the young player from the reserves, who was deputising for the absent Maraike Kusian in Halle.
BVB coach Henk Groener initially continued without his captain after the interval and instead handed some game time to Haruno Sasaki and Frida Rønning. In view of the stressful Wednesday-Saturday fixture rhythm and the strenuous trip to Molde next weekend, it was certainly an energy-saving measure by the coach, who rang the changes in the second half.
But that did not make the game disjointed, especially as Dana Bleckmann also came into her own after the break, gained an attacking foothold in the game and put BVB 20-12 ahead around the 40-minute mark. With a clear lead, BVB effortlessly managed the game in the final 20 minutes, marked very offensively, led 24-17 after 50 minutes and came away from Eastern Germany with both points and a 28-21 victory.
Reactions: Henk Groener: "We knew what was awaiting us after the change of coach in Halle. At the beginning, we had difficulties getting into the game. We then showed more composure in our play in the second phase, but Halle defended very well. We're happy that we won 28-21 in Halle in between two difficult European matches."
BVB Women's Handballers: Moth, Kohorst, ten Holte; Grijseels (5/2), Sprengers (4), Antl (1), Ossenkopp (3), Sasaki (1), Olsson (2), Rønning (2), Stens (1), Hausherr (2/1), Birk, Bleckmann (4), Garovic (3)
Outlook: On Friday, the Black & Yellows will board a plane taking them up to Norway for their penultimate European League game away to Molde Elite. Throw-off in Molde is at 16:00 CET on Saturday. A victory would secure the Black & Yellows qualification for the quarter-finals.