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29/09/2017 22:36
BVA zonal event underway in windy conditions in Bursa
News from the Zonal Associations

Bursa, Turkey, September 29, 2017. The players competing at this weekend’s Beach Volleyball zonal event organised by the Balkan Volleyball Association (BVA) in Bursa have had to find a way to cope with the cold weather and strong winds reigning at the venue.

Romania’s top-seeded Adriana-Maria Matei/Beata Vaida opened the programme of the women’s competition with a comfortable 21-10, 21-7 victory over Kosovo’s Vildane Jashari and Valmira Ramadani. “This victory makes me feel good,” Matei said. “We have been preparing for this matchup for almost a year, since we played this same team from Kosovo last year already. We have developed a good chemistry with my partner even though today I was not able to play to the best of my abilities since we were still tired from yesterday’s flight and late arrival. Our goal is to win this tournament,” added the silver medallist from this year’s U22 European Championship.

In the first round of the men’s competition, Armend Berisha/Faton Mustafa (Kosovo), Ali Cebeci/Ali Berke Sagir (Turkey), Yusuf Ozdemir/Ali Osman Nurettin (Turkey), Jan Dumek/Vaclav Bercik (Czech Republic), Selçuk Sekerci/Emir Akdogan (Turkey) and Georgios Kotsilianos/Vasileios Kostopoulos (Greece) all  claimed their respective matches.

Selcuk Sekerci/Emir Akdogan played Romania’s Lucian Badiceanu/Robert Virlan in their first match. They made the difference with their blocks and serve to claim the first set 21-18 before in the second they had to struggle with the extremely windy conditions reigning in Bursa on Friday. However, the home side eventually prevailed 21-15 to secure a 2-0 victory. “We played together with Selcuk in a tournament held in Lapseki where we finished first,” Akdogan said. “As for today, we played our own game after we needed some time to adjust to the weather conditions. We are happy with this victory and I am hoping that we will continue the same way in the next rounds as well.”

In the second round, two Turkish teams - Ali Cebeci/Ali Berke Sagir and Yusuf Ozdemir/Ali Osman Nurettin - played a derby on home sand. Ali/Berke eventually recorded a 2-1 victory (14-21, 21-17, 15-11). “Some wrong decisions made by the referees had a negative impact on our motivation. This is a match we should have won more easily,” Sagir commented. “However, our opponents put up a fight and fought bravely.”

Serbia’s Lazar Kolaric/Djordje Klasnic recorded an easy victory in their second-round matchup with Turkey’s Selcuk Sekerci and Emir Akdogan (21-17, 21-11). “We are very happy that we could win so easily. Any second-round matches are very important in a double-elimination system. We adjusted our serve according to the windy conditions we had to face today,” Kolaric said. “We claimed gold at the Balkan Championship two weeks ago in Albania but there are many strong teams competing at this tournament. The organisers here in Turkey are doing a very good job and we are pleased with the quality of this event. I have been playing many tournaments this season with my partner and we have developed a good chemistry. This year we started to work with a sports psychologist. Apart from our workouts, this means that we also prepare ourselves mentally. We can see the results – because we can win a match even when coming from behind.”

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