A very big chunk

The EIGNER Angels from Noerdlingen have to do it for the prelude into her 14th federal league season with a quite heavy lump. On Sunday at 16.00 o’clock is jump ball with the TC Herne (live Sporttotal TV).
With TC Herne, the girls from Noerdlingen will be facing a well-rehearsed and experienced team right at the start of the season. Last year, the Westphalians were only defeated in the semifinals of the German championship, when they lost twice to the eventual runner-up Osnabrück. In 2019, the TC won the double of cup and German championship. A circumstance that earned Hernes coach Marek Piotrowski the honor of „best coach 2018/2019“. The Polish coaching veteran stepped down from his post in 2012 after eleven successful years, but took over again in 2013. During his tenure, he rose with the gymnastics club from the Landesliga to the 1st Bundesliga, relegated in 2011 and immediately promoted again. He is assisted by Predrag Stanojcic, who also sometimes takes on the role of head coach, but currently assists Piotrowski. They managed to keep the large core of the Herne team together and to strengthen it selectively, partly even from their own youth.

The Rieser women also lost twice to the TC, but in a completely different team constellation. Now, with a newly formed Angels squad and after the performances so far in the preparation and in the cup, they travel to the Ruhr area with respect, but also with self-confidence. There, the two Finns from Noerdlingen, Anissa Pounds and Elina Koskiemes, will meet their compatriot and national team captain Sofia Pelander, for example. The 1,90mtr tall player on the power forward position came up with an average of 9 points in Herne last season. Somewhat smaller, namely „only“ 1,83mtr is the Serbian national player Kristina Topuzovic, who with just under 12 points per game and eight rebounds brought the Nördlingen defense to the limits of endurance and unfortunately will probably bring again. The playmaker is the Montenegrin Jelena Vucetic. And she is not without her challenges: 12 points per game have to be prevented. In her fourth season with Herne goes homegrown Laura Zolper. The success of Herne’s youth work is evident here. The 20-year-old was introduced piece by piece to the tasks in the Bundesliga and is now, similar to Angels‘ own Mona Berlitz, taking on more and more responsibility within the team and on the field. A goal, which the owner Angels responsible persons pursue also with youngster Bianca Helmig.

In terms of team play, the advantage is clearly on the side of the hosts, as most of the players from Herne have already played together for several seasons. The TC Herne, which receives by the way guests and spectators only after the 2G rule, must be seized differently. In terms of fitness and fighting spirit, the Eigner Angels fancy their chances. The team around the team captains Sami Hill and Marina Dzinic will also urgently need their physicality and the feeling of togetherness. The baskets are known to hang particularly high in Herne. The owner Angels will feel this, this game is much harder than the won cup game at home against Saarlouis. Around 500km long journey must be put away, as well as the known loss of playmaker Asha Thomas. A victory in Herne would not be detrimental to the very good basketball atmosphere inside and outside the crater, but it would certainly be anything but expected.