Russian duos top entry lists for CEV season’s opener in Anapa
2014 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellite - Anapa
Anapa, Russia, January 9, 2014. Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov top the entry lists of the CEV indoor Satellite tournament that is scheduled for this coming January 15-19 in Anapa. The season’s opener will feature a total of 16 teams per gender in the Main Draw and another set of 16 pairs in the Qualification.
Though they teamed up only halfway through the 2013 season, Semenov and Krasilnikov could immediately leave their mark as they debuted with a silver medal at the FIVB Grand Slam in Berlin before settling for fifth place in Moscow and winning the final stage of the 2013 EEVZA Beach Volleyball Tour. The Russian duo is the pre-favourite for gold on home turf next week in Anapa but will have to stand the competition brought by their compatriots Yaroslav Koshkarev/Ruslan Bykanov, Germany’s Sebastian Fuchs/Thomas Kaczmarek and Turkey’s Selcuk Sekerci and Murat Giginoglu. Konstantin Semenov will try to repeat a feat he already achieved last year as he won the CEV season’s opener in Antalya together with Koshkarev edging in the final match Dutchmen Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen who later in the summer would have caused a major sensation by claiming gold at the FIVB World Champs in Stare Jablonki.
The Russian teams are the major force to be reckoned with also in the women’s tournament though there have been some changes in their composition. Evgenia Ukolova will team up with Maria Prokopieva (formerly known as Bratkova) after these players went separate ways a couple of years ago while 2006 European champion Alexandra Shiryaeva will join forces with Ekaterina Syrtseva. The list of the teams pre-qualified for the Main Draw also includes the likes of Germany’s Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, while 2011 European silver medallist Barbara Hansel has found a partner in Bianca Zass after playing last year with Katharina Schützenhöfer. An additional up-and-coming pair to watch out for is Eliska Galova and Hana Tresnakova of the Czech Republic, who last year won bronze at the U22 European Champs in Varna. Another seven Russian pairs will compete in the Country Quota where 2013 U18 European champions Daria Rudykh and Nadezhda Makroguzova will be in action, though with different partners (Olga Motrich and Anna Gorbunova respectively).
The CEV Satellite tournament will be held at the Volley Grad, the Volleyball campus set up by the Russian Volleyball Federation in the small village of Vityazevo, nearby Anapa, a seaside resort on the northern coast of the Black Sea. A CEV indoor Satellite had already taken place there in 2011, with the home teams taking five of the six medals at stake, as the top honours went to Anastasia Vasina/Anna Vozakova and Alexey Pastukhov/Yury Bogatov.
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