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Old 05-24-2008, 05:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CEV News

Estonia gets closer to the next round

After defeating Montenegro 3:1 win over Montenegro in the first match of the 2nd Tournament for Pool F which kicked off today in Tallinn, Estonia is very close to get a ticket to third Qualification Round to next year’s Men’s Senior European Championships. The local head coach, Mr Avo Keel, told that this is actually the main task his team aims at.

"The most important thing is the result. I agree that both teams put up an ugly game, but at this moment this is not important at all. Everybody has had a difficult and long season. I'm not surprised that our level has failed so much compared to the tournament in Olsztyn a week ago," Keel noticed.

Keel surprised his colleague of the Montenegrin side, Mr Veselin Vukovic, by adding freshmen Eerik Jago and Argo Meresaar to the starting line-up. "Jago didn't play in Poland and he's a completely unknown player for his opponents. Meresaar has a better block and more stable service than Kristjan Sikaste," Keel told.

Estonia won the first two sets 26-24 and 25-21, but relaxed after that a little bit and lost the third one 20-25. Keith Pupart, who replaced Jaanus Nõmmsalu, brought some fresh air to the field and the hosting team went on to show its power to conclude the fourth set 25-16. "I had to find some changes. I didn't want to play five sets," Keel explained.

"Our middle blocker Janis Sirelpuu told after the third set he felt himself alone in the field," Meresaar added.

There was a little scandal. Half an hour before the game the referees decided not to let play Montenegrin player Milan Jurisic, because he has a Serbian passport. Mr Veselin Vukovic, Montenegro’s head coach, was very angry for that.

"Jurisic has played for Montenegro a Qualification Match to the Beijing Olympic Games last year against Latvia and also entered the first tournament week ago in Poland. Now the referees decided not to let him play. We have four players with Serbian passport, I can't understand why they chose only Jurisic," Vukovic told. "But it wasn't the reason why we lost. Estonia was clearly a better team in the field."

In today’s second game Poland didn't have any difficulties to beat Hungary 3:0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-22).



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Old 05-24-2008, 05:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Ukraine impresses, great win for Slovakia

Ukraine easily won the opening match of the 2nd Round Qualification Tournament to the 2009 Men's Senior European Championships – Pool A which started today in Poprad, Slovakia. The Ukrainians didn’t have to struggle that much in order to overcome Romania in three straight sets 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21). After a first set which served as a sort of warm-up, Jurij Filippov´s team was dominating the field during the second part of the game. Ukraine built up a seven-point lead (10:17) and it was enough for a comfortable win of this set after Romania’s Lica missed his spike on the set-ball for Ukraine. The Romanians started to turn around the game in the third set, as they took the lead (11:8, 11:11, 17:13). But then Ukraine captured five points in a row and suddenly was topping the score again (18:17, 20:18). Romania
never recovered from this break and Ukraine managed to silver the first match-ball, thus securing the game.

The local audience was then longing for a tough derby between the home heroes from Slovakia and their “cousins” from the Czech Republic.



In an euphoric atmosphere in the Poprad Arena, the home team completely dominated on the field, especially thanks to very effective blocks.

Nemec and Kohut were playing a perfect match. The first set ended with Slovak captain’s, Masny, successful block. During the second part of the game Zanini´s team looked even more comfortable and it was no problem for Slovakia to take the lead by 2:0. In the third set the Czech coach Zdenek Haník decided to change some players and they easily won this set after Slovakia looked a little bit tired. The fourth set was even till the very end, but then Martin Sopko with his good serve and after a perfect spike played as a sort of match winner. "We are very satisfied, because the Czech team has, at least potentially, a better roster than what we have. We have been playing very aggressive all the match long and we had a high percentage of successful spikes and blocks," said during the post-event press conference the head coach of Slovakia, Mr. Emanuele Zanini.


Results:


Romania vs. Ukraine 0:3 (21-25, 19-25, 21-25)

Slovakia vs. Czech Republic 3:1 (25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 25-23)



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Old 05-24-2008, 05:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Solid opening for Greece, Belgium delights home crowd

The 2nd Round Qualification Tournament for the 2009 Men’s Senior European Championships – Pool D opened today in the Lotto Arena of Antwerp with an easy win in straight sets for Greece against Great Britain (18-25, 23-25, 18-25).

However, the team coached by Harry Brokking started very well in each set, fading in the key moments as the great height and a more solid international experience the Greek players can rely on were decisive.

The Brits, practically the same team which has been playing under the banner of the Martinus club this year’s National League in the Netherlands, started with a great variety in their game. But after they tied for 14-14 in the first set, Greece’s captain Roumeliotis took his
team in the slipstream towards victory. In the second set the jump services and the heavy attacks of the best British player, Mark Plotyczer, made some confusion in the Greek reception. But Karipidis and a technical fault of the British libero paved the way for Greece to win also the second set. A lot of aces secured by Kravarik made the difference in the third set right after the score stood at 13-14. After 1h23' the Greeks were able to celebrate their first win in this tournament.



With the marvellous support of 1,800 supporters, the Belgian team of coach Claudio Gewehr took an overwhelming start and the Swedish coach was forced to call his first time-out as the score stood at 11-6 thanks to the furious attacks of Van Goethem and Van Walle.

That couldn't stop the home team and again the powerful Van Walle scored many points. Another time-out was asked by the Swedish coach at 21-16 and Sweden’s star Marcus Nilsson returned to the court to make two aces in a row, thus reducing the gap up to 23-21. But it was Noliko Maaseik’s player Van Decraen who secured the first set for the Belgians (25-21).
In the second set Sweden came back from 9-5 till 11-10 and coach Gewehr was also forced to stop somehow the operations by asking a time-out. It was a good decision, as outstanding setter Frank Depestele (having recently competed in Russia for Belgorod) effectively served his teammates for a 18-12 lead.

A series of Blocks by Verhelst and only a few minutes later Belgium took a 2:0 lead.

The third set was battled with the teams tying the score up to 19-19. In the last and decisive moments the power of Van Walle and a block of Verhelst brought the first succes for the home team, that was thankful for the great support of the local crowd, that gave them a standing ovation.

Results

Great Britain vs. Greece 0:3 (18-25, 23-25, 18-25)


Belgium vs. Sweden 3:0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21)



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Old 05-24-2008, 05:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Bulgaria's dominance continues in Portugal

As expected, Bulgaria easily won the opening match of the 2nd Tournament scheduled for Pool E which serves as part of the qualification process which has been set up for next year’s Men’s Senior European Championships.

A young and promising team from Croatia tried to fight against such a powerful opponent, but the Bulgarians confirmed that they are the great favorites for the final victory of this pool and won their fourth match in a row in the tournament.

Croatia even started better than Bulgaria and was leading the score in the very beginning of the match. The team led by Igor Simuncic dominated until the score stood at 7-5, but then Bulgaria managed to recover right before the first technical time-out and never left the leadership, thus stopping Croatia’s hopes. Bulgaria regularly took advantage of Yordanov’s offensive strength as well as from the great attacks of outstanding players such as Kaziyski and Konstantinov, so leading by 4 points at the second technical time-out and, shortly after, the Bulgarians entered the final stage of the set with a reassuring margin consisting of 5 points (20-15), before easily closing 25-19. Bulgaria was so dominant that even a relevant amount of unforced errors (11) affected its performance.

The second set was somehow balanced only at the very beginning. Croatia, through Raic and Galic (who scored 4 points), tried to decrease the gap, but Bulgaria was even more effective than in the previous set, distributing the play and relying on very aggressive serves. The set was therefore rapidly closed by Bulgaria as the score stood at 25-18.

The third and final set appeared to be meant only to confirm the overwhelming superiority of the Bulgarian team, mainly thanks to the blocks of Matey Kaziyski and the attacks of Boyan Yordanov. The final result (25-12) also shows the deep lack of international experience such a young Croatian team suffers of and proofs that Bulgaria is really approaching to the much awaited ticket to the Final Round of the Championships.

Boyan Yordanov was the best scorer of the match, with 14 points, while Ivan Raic (11 points) secured most points for the Croatian team.

Right after the completion of the match, Bulgaria’s head coach Martin Stoev reported: “It was a very easy match, since Croatia played with a team consisting mainly of junior players. I am aware that we failed some points, but that derives from a certain lack of motivation”.

Igor Simuncic, who is leading the Croatian team, added: “Congratulations to Bulgaria since they are a much stronger and experienced team than us. In the first two sets, I think we played well, fighting point by point. In the last set we lost our focus and that explains the significant difference in the score.”



In today’s second match Portugal also debuted in the best way in front of a home crowd by defeating Israel in straight sets (25-21, 31-29, 25-23). With this victory, that was achieved after a match full of competition and emotion – especially in the very last section of the second set, Portugal has guaranteed a second place on the final ranking of this pool and keeps alive the hopes to qualify for the Final Round of the European Championships.

In the first set, Israel and Portugal measured their respective strengths till practically the first technical time-out that was reached and at this time Portugal was leading by 3 points. From then onwards, Israel was only able to decrease the distance from their opponents (9-11 and 13-17), but without being able to create any danger for Portugal, that had in the block its best weapon, well supported by Hugo Gaspar and João Malveiro’s efficacy in the attack, that scored 6 respectively 5 points during the first section of the game. A point secured by Portuguese captain João José closed the score at 25-21.

In the second set, Avishai Karpovski’s players demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the result of the previous set and entered the court with a completely different attitude, creating a slight ascendant that, despite Portugal’s reaction, lasted almost until the end (21-18). Nevertheless, the response from Jorge Schmidt’s team, created a balance in the match that, after the tie reached at 22, was elongated until the final 31-29. An attack from Hugo Gaspar, through Teixeira’s setting, scored the 30-29 and a triple-block gave Portugal the victory of the set.

In the third set, all seemed to indicate that the Portuguese team would have easily closed the match. Portugal gained a 6-points advantage in a crucial time (17-11), but Israel’s reaction caused a dangerous recovery (18-20 and 20-22). Hugo Gaspar scored the 23-21 and João José closed the set and ensured Portugal’s victory by silvering the first set ball.

Israel’s Itamar Stein was the best scorer of the match, with 17 points, while Hugo Gaspar was the top scorer for the Portuguese team with 15 points.

Jorge Schmidt, Portugal’s head coach, stated after the match: “Congratulations to Israel for the way they played. I am very pleased with the result and that we won 3:0, but still I have to admit that we lost our focus in the second set and that almost was costing us the victory”.

João José, Portugal’s captain, added: “We started well tactically and presented ourselves disciplined. In the second set, Israel re-entered the match very well and created us a series of difficulties. We need to have more patience in front of such troubles, because our opponents may also go through these moments. In the third set, we recovered quite well and won the match”.

Avishai Karpovski, Israel’s head coach, reported: “Like in Bulgaria, Portugal ended by being better than us. Their setter, Nuno Pinheiro, is also superior to ours. In the second set, the referees didn’t allow us to close the set and that was a bit frustrating for my team. Afterwards, Portugal won because they simply are a better team.”

Alexander Laurian, captain of the Israeli team, ultimately added: “It was a balanced match, but I believe that we could have done better. Nevertheless, it was a very good match, with a good atmosphere. The referees made some mistakes, but that is not an excuse, since Portugal was superior”.

Results

Bulgaria vs. Croatia 3:0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-12)

Israel vs. Portugal 0:3 (21-25, 29-31, 25-23)



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Old 05-24-2008, 05:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default No respect for the big names

As Jan Schnider was playing on the junior circuit, now being Swiss Beach Volleyball pro himself, he had to look up the stars of the scene. The big names for him back then were Martin Laciga, Sascha Heyer and Patrick Heuscher. “They were the world’s elite back then”, Jan Schnider says. And all of them decorated with numerous international titles. For example Martin Laciga: twice fifth-ranked at the Olympic Games, silver medallist at the World Championships, three times European champion. Or Sascha Heyer: silver medallist at the World Championships, European champion. Or Patrick Heuscher: Olympic bronze medallist in 2004. In May 2008 Jan Schnider’s worldview has changed quite a bit. At age 25 he is still much younger than Laciga (33), Heyer (35) and Heuscher (31). But Schnider has discarded his respectful reverence for the heroes of his youth: „Today we all play at the same level.”


Schnider’s new mindset was on display in the match-up of the two current Swiss top duos at the Swiss Masters of the NESTEA European Championship Tour in Lucerne. Heuscher/Heyer won the match in the second winners round against Laciga/Schnider in three sets (18:21, 21:15, 15:9) and remain undefeated in the tournament. It is all about emotions and prestige when these two teams meet, especially when they face off in front of their home fans. „We really wanted to win today but unfortunately we came up short this time”, Jan Schnider said after the loss. Laciga/Schnider remain in the tournament in the loser’s round after the first day of the main draw beating Garcia Rodriguez/Martin Hernandez (Spain) in three sets (21:19, 18:21, 18:16).


In the meantime Heuscher/Heyer are on course to defend their title. They won the Swiss Masters last year – a special feat on their home turf. “It would be great if we could win here again”, Sascha Heyer says, “a title would really give us a boost at the moment.” Germany’s Kay Matysik/Stefan Uhmann, the sibling duo Andy and Kevin Ces of France and Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel are still undefeated as well.


In the women’s tournament the following teams will face off in the third winners round beginning on Saturday: Simone Kuhn/Lea Schwer (Switzerland) against Vassiliki Karadassiou/Vassiliki Arvanity of Greece and Nila Hakedal/Ingrid Toerlen (Norway) will duke it out against Lenka Hajeckova/Petra Novotna from the Czech Republic. The duel between Switzerland and Greece evokes memories from past match-ups. Kuhn/Schwer and Karadassiou/Arvanity also faced off in Lucerne in 2005 in the final with the Greek duo winning a tough match 19:17 in the third set. The head-to-head standings favour the 2007 European Champions, who have won six of nine match-ups against Kuhn/Schwer so far.

Similarly to their male counterparts a title on their home turf is the declared goal for Kuhn/Schwer. Lea Schwer says: “So far this season our results have been worse than our actual athletic performance. That is why we want the numbers to speak for themselves in front of our home fans in Lucerne.”

For more information about the 2008 NESTEA European Championship Tour visit Beach Volleyball - European Championship Tour



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