Jennifer Janiska (GER)

Jennifer Janiska has captained Germany to some great results as they opened their 2021 VNL campaign.

Germany have gotten off to a cracking start at this 2021 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League in the 'bubble' of Rimini at Italy's Adriatic Riviera.

Despite being overwhelmed on the opening day by mighty Russia, Germany immediately bounced back with solid and convincing wins over the Netherlands and Belgium in their all-European first week.

"I'm super-proud of what we've done so far," said captain Jennifer Janiska after wrapping up the week with a sweep of Belgium on Thursday. "We will now enjoy the next three days, but absolutely we are looking forward to the next three strong games and we want to go for the next points."

Germany, alongside all the women's teams, take three rest days (while the men take centre stage) and return to action on Monday to face China, Turkey and Canada.

But the 27-year-old outside hitter avoided a prediction on where Germany would rank at the end of the VNL.

"For now I cannot say, but we'll take it week by week, day by day and game by game. Next week we have three strong teams, like China, so we will see how high we can go."


Germans celebrate as they defeat the Netherlands in an epic VNL battle.

"We want to become stronger as a team. We had a good rhythm yesterday and today. We want to play faster and try to compete against the strongest team to gain experience," added Janiska.

There's still a long way to go for Germany and the other teams in the Rimini 'bubble', but the German players are happy being here.

"My first impressions are really really good," said Janiska on life in the 'bubble'. "I like the environment here. This gym - it's amazing to play here and even without spectators it's really, really good. Being in the hotel again, together with other teams and other nations is great - of course we have to wear masks, but we can talk to each other and see each other and it's a really good feeling to be back and play volleyball at a high level again."