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08/07/2017 21:29
Four teams chase top honours at CEV Satellite in Laholm
2017 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellite - Laholm

Laholm, Sweden, July 8, 2017. A fantastic day filled with Beach Volleyball ended on Saturday as four teams made their way into the semis of the CEV Satellite Laholm. Two teams from Germany and one apiece from Russia and the Czech Republic are still in contention for the top honours from the very first CEV women’s Satellite to take place on Swedish soil.

As many as ten matches took place during the course of the day, and every single one of them was a display of wonderful athleticism and thrilling drama. The day started with Lithuania’s Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte bidding farewell to the tournament as Eva Freiberger and Elisabeth Klopf from Austria claimed a comfortable victory (21-17, 21-16) and moved into the next round.

One of Saturday’s many nail biters followed, when Norway’s Victoria Faye Kjølberg and Ane Guro Tveit Hjortland faced off against the top-seeded team in the tournament, Kim Behrens and Anni Schumacher from Germany. It was an incredible game, which the audience enjoyed from start to end. After several match points for both teams, Behrens/Schumacher finally closed the game in the third set 21-23, 21-16, 18-16. It was an indigestible loss for the Norwegian team, but Kjølberg and Hjortland have really proven that they can challenge even the best teams.

Behrens/Schumacher, strengthened by their close win, went on to win another two games, and qualified for the semis on Sunday. “We are very satisfied with this victory and they did a great job against us. We knew it was going to be a tough game. Now we just want to focus on the next match. The Russians are going to be hard to beat but we definitely have a chance even if we lost against them already in the preliminary round. They are very good,” said Schumacher.

As previously mentioned, Russia also made their way into the top four. Ekaterina Syrtseva and Alexandra Moiseeva looked like they were having just another day at the office, with yet another impressive win. The Russian tandem lost their first set in this tournament in the game against Martina Bonnerova/Sarka Nakladalova from the Czech Republic, but were ultimately just a size too big to suffer a serious threat.

Bonnerova/Nakladalova quickly recovered, and seized their spot in the top four, by taking down Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka in another tight three setter (21-18, 19-21, 15-13). Both teams fought hard to get the better of their opponents and this resulted in long rallies and a game that went back and forth until the very end. Bonnerova/Nakladalova were both jubilant and relieved to have made it all the way to the semi-finals. Bonnerova: “We were extremely nervous and had difficulties finding our own rhythm. However, we are so happy that we fought for it. Our goal when we came to this tournament was to reach the semi-finals. We don’t know so much about our opponents tomorrow, but we will now take a good rest and prepare for tomorrow.”

The last team to fight their way into Sunday’s games was Katarina Schillerwein/Cinja Tillmann from Germany. The duo has been playing with great confidence, and is really riding their lucky wave through all games. Together with Syrtseva/Moiseeva, they are the only team still to lose a game in the tournament.

Eight teams had to leave the competition following Saturday’s games. Kristina Thurin/Susanna Thurin, the last hope for a Swedish success in the tournament, lost to Sandra Ittlinger/Teresa Mersmann from Germany. The crowd’s biggest favourite next to the Swedish super twins, France’s Lézana Placette/Aline Chamereau also failed to stay alive in the tournament. They continued impressing with their charisma and energy all the way to the end, but were unable to close the last set when facing Behrens/Schumacher from Germany. This for sure will not be the last we will see from these young girls.

Just four teams remaining, and tomorrow it will come down to the wire. Who will eventually claim gold in Laholm?

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News nr. 2076 of 19885
08/07/2017 21:41:00
Germans Laboureur & Sude win Gstaad Major gold medal
08/07/2017 15:59:00
Thurins bid farewell to CEV Satellite Laholm
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