14/06/2017 23:44
Teams from 31 nations to battle for continental honours at #EuroBeachVolleyU22
2017 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship

Baden, Austria, June 14, 2017.  The 2017 CEV outdoor Beach Volleyball season is about to get underway, as the Austrian spa town of Baden braces itself to host the 2017 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship presented by SPORT.LAND.NÖ. As many as 31 nations combined between the two genders will be represented on the sand courts of the continental tournament from June 15 through 18.

36 women’s pairs from 25 different countries and 36 men’s duos from 30 nations have flocked to the hot springs area of Lower Austria and, attending the Drawing of Lots on Wednesday evening, have each found out the names of their first three rivals during the pool stage of the championship.

The four courts will open for business at 09:00 local time on Thursday morning with the matches of the first leg in the women’s competition.

Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka are certainly the team to beat at the women’s tournament in Baden. The Latvian pair are the reigning European champions in this age category from the 2016 edition in Thessaloniki. They will be starting their 2017 campaign in a Pool F centre court match against Austria’s second team Julia Radl/Franziska Friedl. Friedl and Radl have spent a long preparation period together including two tournaments and they have been looking forward to the European Championship on home soil for weeks. They feel ready to face Europe’s best U22 tandems and to compete at the highest level.  

Austria’s #2 duo Ronja and Dorina Klinger are also full of confidence. Although the two sisters are one of the youngest teams in the field, they are looking forward to fighting for a spot among the top 10. They see the tournament in Baden as a huge opportunity to prove their strength in front of the home crowd. Marilena Preiml and Sophie Weber compose Austria’s third tandem. Playing in front of the local crowd, having fun on the court and giving 100% in every game is Marilena’s main goal, hoping that this will be enough to make it through the pool stage of the championship.

Among the many strong competitors in the women’s main draw, such as Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic bronze medallist and 2016 U22 European Championship bronze medallist Lisa Arnholdt from Germany, 2015 U20 European Championship bronze medallists Svetlana Kholomina and Nadezda Makroguzova from Russia, the latter also a semi-finalist from the Nanjing games, and many others, are the Belarusian standouts Viktoryia Shalayeuskaya/Viktoryia Siakretava, last year’s continental bronze medallists in the U20 age category.

“It is our first tournament this season,” Siakretava said. “We feel really good about it, but, of course, we are little bit worried too, because we not sure if we are ready to show our full potential. We will focus more on playing good matches and enjoying the game than on the results. I think there are many very good teams here that have worked very hard to prepare for the season. This is our second time in Baden after we played at the 2014 Baden Masters. It is a great town and the organisation is high-level. We like it a lot.”

The line-up for the men’s tournament is even more impressive. Moritz Pristauz is a two-time silver medallist from under-age European Championships – U22 in 2016 and U18 in 2013. In Baden he will be partnering with his 2013 teammate Paul Buchegger, who was instrumental in Austria’s recent successful debut in the FIVB Volleyball World League earlier in June. He is back on the sand now to lead the main draw seeding together with Pristauz as the top host country pair. At 12:20 on Thursday they will face Romania’s Lucian Badiceanu/Sergiu-Florin Calin in the first men’s match on centre court. Pristauz, who will be competing at the Baden Masters next week along with his regular partner Martin Ermacora, is looking forward to standing on the court together with Buchegger, who on the other hand is extremely happy with his comeback to the sand after the six World League matches he contested earlier this month in Frankfurt and Linz.

Felix Friedl and Lucas Skrabal want to put up a fight throughout the tournament and make their head coach Stefan Hömberg and their families proud of their performance. By preparing in Tenerife, Australia, Vienna and via a number of international tournaments, Friedl and Skrabal are ready to take on Europe’s elite. Last but not least, Moritz Kindl and Marian Klaffinger compose the third Austrian team set to compete on home sand. Kindl has had a busy schedule lately since he just graduated from high school but he has been working hard for a few weeks and as a result, he feels ready to play at a high level. Kindl and Klaffinger see themselves as outsiders and they will be happy with every set they can take from their respective matches. It will be a great experience for their career no matter the outcome.

The 2016 European champion in both the U20 and the U22 age bracket, Anders Berntsen Mol from Norway, will be defending one of his crowns in Baden, teaming up with his cousin Mathias Berntsen. This Norwegian duo also won the 2015 U20 continental title, and were the best-ranked (fourth) European team at the FIVB U21 World Championship 2016. They will be starting their Baden campaign against the third host country pair - Moritz Fabian Kindl/Marian Klaffinger.

Among the many other names, already well-known in the world of Beach Volleyball despite their young age, are Russia’s rising stars Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin. Their last and only medal from the under-age European Championships may date as far back as 2013 (U18 gold), but Stoyanovskiy/Yarzutkin have not only won the gold medal at the Nanjing Youth Olympics, but have also shown their ability to compete successfully at the senior level, winning three medals in the FIVB World Tour, most recently a bronze in Moscow earlier this month.

“I don’t think we are the strongest team here, because there are so many other teams at this tournament who are also very strong, like Norway, Austria, France, ... We will just try to play our best game,” Oleg Stoyanovskiy said. “It does not matter that we are used to playing at the senior level and this is a junior championship. It is the same – you have to play your best in order to win. I have never been to Baden before - it is a beautiful spa city and a very nice venue for Beach Volleyball.”

All matches of the tournament on courts 1 and 2 are scheduled for live streaming on

Engage with the U22 European Championship on social media by using the competition’s official hashtag #EuroBeachVolleyU22.

Click here for more information, including a detailed match schedule.

News nr. 8 of 13
15/06/2017 19:30:00
Eleven women’s pairs make #EuroBeachVolleyU22 cut with two wins on first day
30/05/2017 15:05:00
Austria set sights on a medal at #EuroBeachVolleyU22 on home sand

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