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09/08/2015 17:12
Tina Graudina and Paula Neciporuka claim U18 Beach Volleyball gold in front of great home crowd
2015 CEV U18 Beach Volleyball European Championship

Riga, Latvia, August 9, 2015. The women’s tournament of the 2015 CEV U18 Beach Volleyball European Championship in Riga was a success in many ways. Great matches, perfect organisation, beautiful weather and a great crowd. The cherry on top of this was placed by Tina Graudina and Paula Neciporuka. The Latvian home favourites won gold after striking performances in the semifinal and the final where they played Ilona Kiss and Katharina Holzer from Austria. The bronze medal was conquered by Tereza Kotlasova and Marie-Sara Stochlova from the Czech Republic.

Click here for further information including detailed results, pictures and much more.

Semifinals

In the rainy morning the first semifinal was played between Isabelle Haak / Fanny Åhman from Sweden and Ilona Kiss / Katharina Holzer from Austria. Austria took the initiative from the start and delivered great pressure with their services. Sweden had some troubles in passing, and although they tried everything, they weren’t able to get in the lead. Austria won with 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) and advanced to the final.

In the second semifinal the local favourites Tina Graudina and Paula Neciporuka overpowered Tereza Kotlasova and Marie-Sara Stochlova from the Czech Republic. With the support of the Latvian crowd on the centre court, Graudina and Neciporuka easily won the match with 2-0 (21-11, 21-12).

Bronze medal match

After the rainy morning the sky above Riga cleared in the afternoon for the medal matches. The Czech Republic claimed the first medal of the 2015 CEV U18 Beach Volleyball European Championship after beating Sweden with 2-0 (21-9, 21-14). The Swedish girls Isabelle Haak and Fanny Åhman played an impressive tournament, and they can be proud of the fact that they reached the final four.

The Czech girls couldn’t stop smiling after winning the bronze medal. ‘The semifinal against Latvia was very intense,’ said Marie-Sara Stochlova. ‘But eventually we lost because the opponent was better. In this match against Sweden we were the better team. I’m so happy with the bronze medal!’

Tereza Kotlasova explains how she’s trying to improve her game by watching a living legend. ‘Kerri Walsh is my big hero,’ she said. ‘I love to watch her play and learn from her.’

Final

In the final the Latvian home heroines Tina Graudina and Paula Neciporuka played Beach Volleyball from another level. They outclassed Austria in every aspect of the game. Team Latvia made almost no mistakes and won the final after just 31 minutes with 2-0 (21-11, 21-9). In the whole tournament Latvia lost only one set, in the quarterfinal against The Netherlands.

‘There’s so much happiness and relief that everything ended so well,’ said Tina Graudina after the final. ‘I think we don’t really comprehend yet what happened. Before the final, our coach told us to enjoy the game and the atmosphere, and that’s what we did. We played relaxed in the final and, in my opinion, pretty much perfect.’

Paula Neciporuka added: ‘Before today’s matches we tried to not think about other things than Beach Volleyball too much. We just prepared for the games as usual. At the moment it’s hard to believe what we’ve accomplished. In the finals we showed what we wanted to show.’

Final ranking (first 8):

1.    Graudina/Neciporuka (LAT)
2.    Kiss/Holzer K. (AUT)
3.    Kotlasova/Stochlova (CZE)
4.    Haak/Åhman (SWE)
5.    Zayonchkovskaya/Voronina (RUS)
6.    Daalderop/van As (NED)
7.    Vermote/Vandycke (BEL)
8.    They/Orsi Toth (ITA)

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09/08/2015 18:30:00
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09/08/2015 16:09:00
Reigning Swiss champions grab gold in all-Swiss final at Biel/Bienne Masters
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