Rokiskis, Lithuania, July 5, 2014. The first day at EEVZA’s men-only Lithuania Open in Rokiskis was marked by a series of one-hour-long five-setters and some surprising victories. A total of eight teams represented the host country, but only one – Arnas Rumsevicius / Lukas Kazdailis, managed to get among the top eight. Kristo Kollo / Rivo Vesik from Estonia and Toms Smedins / Reinis Pekmanis from Latvia, having no defeats, have qualified directly to the semifinals.
The other teams within the top 8 are Aliaksandr Dziadkou / Aliaksandr Kavalenka from Belarus, Martins Plavins / Aleksandrs Solovejs from Latvia, Ruslan Bykanov / Nikita Liamin from Russia, Iaroslav Gordieiev / Vladyslav Iemelianchyk from Ukraine and Rain Raud / Karl Jaani from Estonia.
The local fans had the opportunity to watch some really tough battles already in the very first round. The match between Russia’s Ruslan Bykanov / Nikita Liamin and Aliaksandr Dziadkou / Aliaksandr Kavalenka from Belarus lasted for 1 hour and 11 minutes. Dziadkou / Kavalenka proved their superiority winning by 3:2 (9-15, 13-15, 22-20, 31-29, 7-3).
Another exciting match happened in Round 2 when two Latvian teams, Martins Plavins / Aleksandrs Solovejs and Tom Smedins / Reinis Pekmanis, faced each other. In the exhausting battle of 58 minutes Smedins / Pekmanis managed to edge their honored compatriots by 3:2 (13-15, 15-13, 15-12, 12-15, 7-3).
Tom Smedins, Latvia: “We are really glad to win against Plavins / Solovejs as in the morning our game was not so good, but now it has improved. Reinis and I have been practicing together for only two weeks and we are happy to qualify for Round 3. We are planning to play together as a team in the future, so currently our task is to collect enough ranking points to participate in FIVB competitions. Reinis is a very young player so he needs some time to earn those points. In this tournament, from Lithuania’s teams I enjoyed the game of Rumsevicius / Kadailis who have defeated Ukraine’s team.”
Martins Plavins, Latvia: “I think this is the first time I am playing in Lithuania and I feel great here. However, it is quite difficult to play as just a couple of days ago we have been participating in Latvia’s championship and still feel a bit tired.”
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