Icelandic Beach Volleyball duo celebrate historic home win at GSSE
2015 Games of the Small States of Europe
Reykjavik, Iceland, June 3, 2015. Next to the first matches of the women’s Volleyball tournament, the opening day of the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) featured also the first round of matches for the men’s and women’s Beach Volleyball competition which is being held at the brand-new venue set up in Laugardalur. Again, history was made since these were the first international matches ever played on Icelandic soil. Though this is a reason to celebrate in itself, still the gods were not that merciful. It did not rain for the opening day of the competition, but some snowflakes fell during the matches.
The men’s tournament got started with Liechtenstein playing Monaco. The game was a very entertaining one and it eventually ended in favour of the side that made fewer mistakes, i.e. Liechtenstein. The first set was a very close one up to 18 all but then Liechtenstein edged ahead and scored three points in a row to bring it to an end at 21-18. The second one was a little bit more one-sided with Liechtenstein leading from start to end and finishing it off at 21-15. In the other match of the first session, Cyprus easily beat San Marino by 21-18, 21-11.
The hosts of Iceland played their first international match on home sand later in the afternoon but they ended up losing 6-21, 5-21 to a team from Andorra. The visitors from Andorra adjusted quite well to the windy conditions and displayed an overall good performance.
On Wednesday the competition will resume with Luxembourg playing Monaco, Andorra taking on San Marino and the Icelandic guys playing pre-favourite Cyprus.
Three-time gold medallists Cyprus opened the women’s competition playing a team from Luxembourg. The Cypriots ruled supreme in the opening set (21-10) while the second one was a closer affair with the score remaining tight up to 15 all before Cyprus broke away and closed the game at 21-18. Teams from Malta and Monaco provided the audience with a match to remember; Monaco started strong claiming the opening set by 21-18 but the second one was a dramatic thriller, with the teams exchanging the lead back and forth up to 20 all. In the end Monaco had the upper hand (22-20) thereby celebrating their first victory in the competition.
The women’s programme for the opening day came to a close with Iceland playing Liechtenstein. The home heroines could celebrate a good start of their campaign as they won a close match (21-13, 15-21, 15-13) with the third set providing the real climax as the score remained levelled up to 13 all.
The competition continues on Wednesday with Liechtenstein playing Malta, Luxembourg taking on Monaco and a ‘big match’ starring teams from Iceland and Cyprus closing the programme.
Click here to retrieve detailed results which are being updated at the end of each game
Click here for more photos of the competition
For further information visit also the official website www.iceland2015.is/english