WUHAN, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Midway through the third set of their Pool B match, leading by two sets but trailing the Netherlands in the third, German women's volleyball captain Sina Kostorz heard a sound that brought her and her teammates back on track to triumph here at the 7th CISM Military World Games on Thursday.
A ring of cowbells in the stands - shaken passionately by Germany's shooters and golfers - was a rallying call to the German women as they fought back to a 27-25 victory in the third set and overall victory in their second match of the tournament.
"It's amazing. It's like, 'Germany!'" Kostorz said of hearing the cowbells in the stands. "It's a bit of Germany. You hear that and it's something other than the cheering. You know that you have someone else backing you up and cheering for you."
The cowbell, representative of southern Germany with its mountainous landscape and cow herds, was a comfort to the German players in a setting that felt distinctly foreign otherwise.
All of Germany's volleyball players have full-time occupations in the military. While some play for clubs, they are not professionals unlike many of the players in China, Brazil and DPR Korea squads at the Games.
Even Kostorz, who plays at a slightly higher level than her teammates, was left in awe of the number of people watching their group stage match.
"It's such a huge gym. Nearly everybody on the team have never played in such a gym," Kostorz said of Jianghan University Gymnasium, which has a capacity of 2,364. "The biggest gym I played at in Germany, about 1,000-1,500 people would fit in there."
After the match finished, the German team saluted the spectators by running up to the stands in waves and forming hearts with their hands.
"Volleyball is not the main sport in Germany, so you always value every fan you have," Kostorz said.
Playing at her second CISM Military World Games, Kostorz is also embracing the support from fellow athletes across the 109 delegations competing in Wuhan.
"You support each other. In the village, you cheer for each other, you sing songs, and it's really great because it is friendship through sports," she said.