Belarusian girls join Greece in Continental Cup third round
2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup - Women
Schinias, Greece, June 22, 2014. The home heroines of Greece had already claimed on Saturday the top position in the final standing of the 1st Round tournament – Pool E of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. On Sunday Greece was eventually joined by Belarus that won the “small final” with Romania for the second and third place to also progress to the third stage of the competition scheduled for next year. As for Romania and Malta, which ended up the tournament in fourth place, they will re-start their campaign with the 2nd Round coming up later this summer (venues and dates still to be determined).
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The program on Sunday got started with Romania playing underdogs Malta. Altogether it took a little more than one hour for the two Romanian teams to edge their opponents and get the right to challenge Belarus for second place in the Pool. Ioana-Alexandra Ordean and Adriana Melniciuc thrashed Maria Demicoli and Daniela Bonnici 21-12, 21-16 while Andreea-Maria Barsasteanu and Beatrice Galit needed 35 minutes to edge past Alison Borg and Gertrude Zarb (21-18, 22-20).
2nd and 3rd place Final
Belarus vs. Romania 2:0
The match starring Ordean/Melniciuc and Belarus’ Viktoryia Siakretava/Viktoryia Shalayeuskaya was by far the most dramatic of the second and final day of the tournament in Schinias. By the time the score stood at 19:8 for the Belarusian duo in the second set, Siakretava collapsed on the court after suffering a muscle spam. She asked for a medical time-out, was assisted by the doctors and returned to the court shortly after, but still showing she was suffering much pain. In a real and somehow unique demonstration of fair play, the Romanian players left the last serve of the Belarusian team fall on to their side of the court, thereby bringing the match to a close (21-12, 21-8). This way Belarus claimed their ticket to the 3rd Round of the Continental Cup for Alena Bernatovich and Valeriya Babenka had previously claimed a very close match with Barsasteanu and Galit (22-24, 21-17, 15-13). This match also drew much attention from the fans in attendance as both teams fought bravely up to the very last point. Good digs and high attacks marked this game.
Greece’s Evangelia Christou commented at the end of the tournament: “We are happy that we could qualify for the next phase of the Continental Cup. We finished first which is a good thing and I think we all played very well. We hope that we can make it to the next phase as well.” On Saturday Christou and partner Panagiota Karagkouni did not drop a set in their matches and their results combined with those claimed by Vasiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani booked the first place in the final standing for the host country.