The favorites make it to the semifinals of U20 European Championship
2012 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championship
Hartberg, Austria, August 18, 2012. Europe’s best U20 Beach Volleyball teams confirmed their strength at the 2012 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championship in Hartberg (Austria). The favorites for the title made it to the semifinals of this prestigious competition as fans from all over Europe are following the top event close to the action.
The Austrian fans celebrated their heroes Lorenz Petutschnig and Tobias Winter as they qualified for the semifinals and demonstrated their power with a 2:0 (21-17, 21-19) win over Poland’s Maciej Kosiak and Maciej Rudol. With an outstanding performance on the center court, Petutschnig/Winter underlined their good shape and their hopes for the European crown. After the match, Tobias Winter was overwhelmed with emotions and very happy with the atmosphere in the stadium, “It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe it; we made it to the semifinals. It is so great to play here in front of such an amazing crowd.” Dennis and Benjamin Lerch from Switzerland will be their opponents in Sunday’s semifinals. The Lerch brothers performed quite well on Saturday, winning first against Serbia’s Sasa Surla/Djordje Klasnic in the losers' round and finally qualifying for the semifinals with a 2:1 (21-18, 16-21, 15-11) win over Germany’s Max Betzien and Max-Jonas Karpa.
Michal Bryl and Sebastian Kaczmarek booked the second direct ticket for the semifinals. The Polish duo defeated in Round 3 Germany’s Betzien/Karpa in a close match 2:1 (15-21, 24-22, 15-8). After a difficult start, the young Polish guys fought back bravely and finally prevailed in a match that showed the outstanding level of this competition. Bryl/Kaczmarek will challenge their compatriots Maciej Kosiak and Maciej Rudol in Sunday’s semifinals who beat Russian Vassili Andrianov and Viacheslav Kirienko in straight sets (21-17, 21-18). Hence Poland already secured a medal at the 2012 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championship in Hartberg.
In the women’s competition, Austria’s titleholders Lena Plesiutschnig and Katharina Schützenhöfer won their two first matches of the day - first against Dutch Marloes Hesselink and Jessica Smit 2:0 (21-11, 21-8), then versus their compatriots Teresa and Nadine Strauss again in straight sets (21-19, 21-13). However, in the duel against Russia’s Anna Gorbunova and Ksenia Dabizha, the local heroines couldn’t extend their winning streak. It was a hard-fought match between the two teams, but in the end the Russian girls proved too strong 2:0 (21-15, 23-21).
Gorbunova/Dabizha will play against the German team Anika Krebs and Jelena Wlk who directly qualified for the semifinals. The German ladies beat Swiss Nina Betschart and Nicole Eiholzer in two sets (21-14, 21-18). They clearly dominated the match and confirmed their ambitions for the title.
Monika Povilaityte and Ieva Dumbauskaite (Lithuania) booked the second direct ticket for the semifinals. The U19 world champions demonstrated their power and are ready for another win in Sunday’s semifinals. They will have to battle against Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszczynska from Poland. The two girls beat Nicole Eiholzer and Nina Betschart 2:0 (21-16, 21-18). The reigning U18 European Champions showed their power as they put a lot of pressure on their rivals, particularly in serving and defense.
The 2012 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championship heads to an exciting final day. The Austrian television (ORF Sport +) will broadcast Sunday’s matches live. Online, you might follow the prestigious competition live on www.laola1.at.
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