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09/07/2017 18:02
Moiseeva/Syrtseva emerge victorious from CEV Satellite Laholm dramatic final
2017 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellite - Laholm

Laholm, Sweden, July 9, 2017. Russia’s Alexandra Moiseeva and Ekaterina Syrtseva are the eventual winners of the CEV Satellite Laholm – the first competition of this level to have taken place on Swedish soil. Moiseeva and Syrtseva beat Germany’s Katarina Schillerwein and Cinja Tillmann in the dramatic ‘grand finale’ of the tournament 2-1 (23-21, 15-21, 16-14).

Finally, time had come for this historic tournament to come down to the wire, and there was no doubt that it was the two best teams that had made it all the way to the ‘grand finale’. Schillerwein/Tillmann from Germany and Moiseeva/Syrtseva from Russia had only lost one set each in their previous games. The gold medal match exceeded all expectations, with great rallies and a bit of drama, so the audience could not have dared to hope for anything better than this.

The first set was tight from start to finish. The German team tried to put pressure on seasoned Moiseeva, but she would have none of it. Not even the excellent Schillerwein/Tillmann managed to disrupt the Russian rhythm. Germany answered by recording their side-out in an impressive way and as a result the score remained tight until the very end of the first set. The more experienced Moiseeva/Syrtseva seized their first opportunity to kill off the first set, 23-21.

In the second set, Cinja Tillmann proved that she might very well be the best defender to play on Mellbystrand Beach this week. Tillmann brought home the second set almost single-handedly, as multiple fantastic digs and crushing spikes left the Russians without any chance to defend their half of the court.

As everyone had hoped, the gold medal match had gone to a tiebreak, and unparalleled drama awaited. In the beginning of the third set, Germany kept on doing what brought them the second set, great digging and attacking. They claimed an early lead, which they kept almost until the very end. Schillerwein/Tillmann could feel the scent of gold, and had all but closed the game when their luck ran out, and Russia’s experience yet again proved to be the recipe of success.  Alexandra Moiseeva closed the match with two impressive blocks, and was lyrical afterwards.

“This is the first time we win a CEV Satellite tournament and it means a lot to us. We were fighting against a good block and serve from Schillerwein but we managed to adjust our reception and block to cope with that. We let them win the second set, so we didn’t lose too much power for the third set,” she stated after the game.

Germany’s Cinja Tillmann: “We are a little bit disappointed that we could not make it to the end. We had match point but we could not stand against their strong block. However, overall, we are very satisfied with this tournament, as we had some great days here. Even if we are a little bit disappointed now, we will look back at the match and remember the good stuff we did.”

Top-seeded Germans claim bronze

After losing their respective semi-final, Kim Behrens/Anni Schumacher from Germany and Martina Bonnerova/Sarka Nakladalova from the Czech Republic had a short rest before taking to the court again. Now battling each other for the much-desired bronze medal, both teams were ready to give it all to win their last game at the CEV Satellite in Laholm. The Czechs got off to the better start, and claimed an early lead in the first set. Good serving and digging from Martina Bonnerova made the German top-seeded team change their pace in order to stay alive in the set. At 16-14 in favour of the Czech team, Kim Behrens had had enough. A couple of impressive digs swung the set around for the German team, and the Czech frustration over a questionable call made matters worse for Bonnerova/Nakladalova. Finally, Schumacher closed the set with a big block (21-18).

The second set continued in the same way, with a frustrated Czech team struggling to control the ravaging Germans. At 1-5, they chose to use their time-out. After a quick break, Bonnerova/Nakladalova finally rediscovered their game. Better side-out kept the Czech duo in the set, but they were still struggling to steal points from the Germans when serving. After the technical time-out, Behrens/Schumacher claimed three points in a row, and prospects were looking grim for the Czechs. A couple of blocks from Sarka Nakladalova relit their hopes for a few seconds, but the distance to Behrens/Schumacher was too much to make up for the deficit. The Germans eventually claimed the bronze medal after winning 21-18, 21-16. “We are very satisfied with our result even if we wanted to be in the final. Everyone wants to play the final of course, and the bronze medal match is never an easy game and you should not underestimate your opponents. This time we were stronger than the Czechs,” said Anni Schumacher.

A fantastic tournament has ended. A success for the organisers, the players, and all of the spectators, who were able to watch world-class outdoor Beach Volleyball for the first time ever on Swedish soil! A success story that hopefully will continue next year…  

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