Jochen Schöps after the end of United Volleys in league three

HIf Jochen Schöps had known then, he would have enjoyed this last performance at the highest level more. But when the United Volleys had to say goodbye to the past volleyball Bundesliga season in April after an exciting series of semifinals against defending champions Berlin, Schöps still expected to open another season for the Frankfurt team.

The license withdrawal for the Hessians three months later meant the abrupt end of his outstanding professional career. “I would have liked to be able to decide for myself when to stop,” says the 38-year-old. There were offers, but after so many years in which everything in the family was based on his competitive sport, volleyball should no longer play the most important role.

Three times Volleyball Player of the Year

His twins have just started school and his wife Anna has taken a break from work. “If we move again now,” says Schöps, “everything should fit.” He doesn’t want to put his children through too many changes of location.

As a player, the longtime captain of the German national team has experienced everything. Born in Villingen-Schwenningen, the diagonal attacker took part in two Olympic Games and won the 2014 World Championship bronze. He was volleyball player of the year in Germany three times, winner of the DVV Cup five times, German champion three times, Polish champion, and champions league winner. Schöps was online for clubs in Russia, France and Qatar. Now my job has become a hobby.

Saturday evening in Langen. A completely normal sports hall, a little more than 100 spectators are sitting in the stands. No light show, no spectacular run-in, no music snippets – pure volleyball. The local sports and singer community (SSG) will lose their third division duel against USC Freiburg 1:3 (25:15, 20:25, 23:25, 19:25).

In the end, the United Volleys lose the semi-final against Berlin. The end of the entire club will be known in July.

Image: picture alliance/dpa/Kessler-Sportfotografie

It is the first home game after promotion from the regional league. Schöps will almost play through in their formation. As usual, he puts a ball in the far corner of the opponent’s field with sensitivity, slams another in the middle on the ground, hits several aces, but also serves into the net. “Man, dad!” criticizes son Theo, who follows the events from the spectator seats with his mother and sister Lotte.



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