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31/05/2017 08:42
Sammarinese teams complete clean sweep on GSSE opening day
2017 Games of the Small States of Europe

San Marino, May 30, 2017. The Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competitions of the XVII Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) got underway on Tuesday – and what a day it was for the home teams of San Marino! They all claimed their respective matches to set the tone for the remainder of an exciting week – with the fans now obviously expecting more success to come from the Sammarinese teams.

The men’s Volleyball national team fought hard but eventually recorded a 3-2 victory (23-25, 25-20, 16-25, 30-28, 15-13) in their marathon match with Monaco, whose players enjoyed the support, inter alia, of H.R.H. Albert II, Prince of Monaco. It was a very demanding match especially from a physical standpoint but there is not much time to rest since San Marino will take to the court again on Wednesday already. Opposite hitter Nicolas Farinelli top scored for San Marino as he amassed an impressive personal tally of 28 points. In the other match of the day, Cyprus easily beat Iceland 3-1 (26-24, 25-11, 21-25, 25-17) to claim the leadership in the current standing of the tournament. On Wednesday morning, reigning GSSE champions Luxembourg will make their debut playing Iceland before San Marino take on Cyprus later in the afternoon.

The women’s national team of San Marino needed only 66 minutes to rout Malta 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-11) in a one-sided match, which the home side controlled from start to end with the only exception being a segment of the second set where they probably relaxed too much. “The match developed according to our wishes and my players were good at remaining focused, playing their own game without leaving any real chance to the opposition,” San Marino head coach Luigi Morolli commented. “Matches like this one can become quite challenging if you do not keep the right focus. Now we will prepare for the more demanding matches to come.” Samanta Giardi top scored for San Marino with 12 points.
Luxembourg also recorded a 3-0 victory over Liechtenstein (25-23, 25-18, 25-14) and Cyprus beat Iceland 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 25-14) in the remaining matches of the opening day. Both Cyprus and Luxembourg looked in great shape and will be a hard nut to crack for San Marino. On Wednesday Cyprus will play Luxembourg, Malta will take on Liechtenstein and late in the evening San Marino will lock horns with Iceland.

San Marino’s Debora Pini/Silvia Bulgarelli opened proceedings in the women’s Beach Volleyball competition with a 2-0 victory (21-19, 21-12) over Mariota Angelopoulou/Manolina Konstantinou of Cyprus. “It was a tough game, especially in the first set, but with the start of the second set we were able to play our own game and everything went more easily,” Bulgarelli said. Carole Grethen/Rebekka Klerf of Luxembourg lost both of their matches in straight sets to teams from Monaco and Malta, with Malta’s Dorianne Caruana Bonnici/Gertrude Zarb boasting a perfect record so far as they won also their matchup with Iceland’s Matthildur Einarsdottir/Heida Elisabet Gunnarsdottir.

San Marino’s perfect day continued in the men’s Beach Volleyball competition with Simone Giorgetti/Paolo Paganelli stamping a 2-0 victory (21-12, 21-18) in their matchup with Montenegro’s Marko Bagaric and Andrej Bojic. “It is the first time I am playing such an important tournament on home sand,” Paganelli commented after the match. “I felt the pressure but I think I did play at a good level in the end.” Giorgetti thanked his wife and children: “I am playing for them. Tomorrow we will try and play the same way as we did today.” Andorra’s Genildo Da Silva Prado/Xavier Folguera easily beat Luxembourg’s Christophe Lazzarin/Tom Meres in the other match on schedule in the pool featuring San Marino. In the other group, Manuel Gahr and Maximilian von Deichmann of Liechtenstein have a perfect record of two wins in as many matches so far.

For further information visit the official website

Click here for a comprehensive gallery of the Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competitions

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