Tournament Pro Elite category tour in beach volleyball, women, group D: Hermannová, Štochlová (CZ) – Brunnerová, Hüberliová (Switzerland), June 2, 2023, Ostrava. From the left, Marie-Sára Štochlová and Barbora Hermannová.
Ostrava – Barbora Hermannová was not absent at any of the five previous editions of the world circuit beach volleyball tournament in Ostrava. The local native played the first three with Markéta Nausch Sluková, in the next two she played alongside Marie-Sára Štochlová. Last year she didn't make it out of the group, this year she was three points away from a sensational advance to the quarter-finals.
Hermannová and Štochlová were initially defeated in two sets by experienced Brazilians Agatha and Rebecca. After two defeats in the group today, they were eliminated in the round of 16 after defeating the Swiss Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Mäder in a tie-break. “We wanted to advance from the group. We saw a chance in the Brazilians, who are not quite 100 percent yet. We succeeded, we appreciate that very much. These points will also help us to qualify for the tournament in Gstaad, which we needed,” said the thirty-two-year-old winner of the premiership tournament in Ostrava in 2018.
After winning the first set against the seventh-seeded Swiss, the Czechs were unable to hold on to an 18:16 lead in the second to win. In a tense tie-break, the Olympic bronze medalists pushed the less experienced Štochlova, who spoiled several balls under pressure. Hermannová stood up for her eight-year-younger teammate.
“I would really like to praise Maruška, who did a lot of things on the court that helped me. Especially in the first set, when they played after me the whole time. There I ran away from the gravedigger's shovel. She screamed, joked and made it up. I'm sorry that it looks like they finished it through her. But we can't take it that way, because we're both there and we both win and lose,” said the two-time Olympic Games participant.
Hermannová praised how she and Štochlova have been working together since last year shifted. “We're better at being agile on the field. We have more balls in defense, which we didn't have in the past, because we combined like two blockers. We weren't quite used to picking up something in the field and there were moments that were quite naive. Now we have more calm in defense, plus we're more mobile, so we're able to score some shorter balls at times,” she said.
At the same time, she knows what they still need to work on in order to reach the main stage of elite tournaments even without a wild card like in Ostrava. “After those dropped balls, the pass and attack could be better. We haven't been able to convert the dropped balls there yet, because we're not very used to it. Otherwise, I think we have a good service, we're building on that. Our attack is standard , we don't have any huge dips,” said Hermann.