Špindlerův Mlýn, Czech Republic, February 24, 2017. Two qualification matches, one in each gender, were played in Špindlerův Mlýn on Friday to kick off the second event on schedule for the 2017 edition of the CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour. Teams from Poland and the Czech Republic persevered through strong winds and heavy snowfall to emerge victorious with main draw tickets in their hands.
The men were the first to take to the centre court at Svatý Petr Valley Station. By the will of the draw, three of the five teams that arrived for the qualification tournament got their byes to progress straight to the main draw. The last remaining spot available was decided with a game between two Polish duos. Mateusz Paszkowski/Maciej Lewicki dominated clearly throughout the match and after 22 minutes of play against Bartosz Jablonski/Tobiasz Witczak and a final score of 2-0 (11-6, 11-4) celebrated as well-deserved winners of a weekend pass to the competition.
“This is only our second tournament on snow and this weather was very challenging for us, but we are happy that we won,” Maciej Lewicki said after the victory. “The setting is very beautiful and everything is very well organised. We hope that we will continue winning tomorrow.”
Three Czech teams showed up to dispute the two vacant positions in the women’s main draw. The Drawing of Lots sent one of them directly among the 12 pairs in Saturday’s competition and the other two had to face each other in a tough duel for survival. In a battle that lasted for 34 minutes, Ludmila Lojkova/Radka Tuckova managed to outlast compatriots Kristyna Nemcova/Petra Parobkova on the way to a 2-1 (11-5, 10-12, 11-8) victory.
“This was the first time for me playing on the snow. It was fun!” exclaimed Ludmila Lojkova upon advancing to the main draw. “No, we were definitely not cold while we were playing, we were hot! There will be many teams among our opponents that are more experienced than us, so we will see how we do against them tomorrow…”
“I am happy! Snow is so different from the beach that we are used to. It is so crazy!” added Radka Tuckova with excitement.
The Drawing of Lots for the main draw will take place on Friday evening at 21:00 local time and on Saturday morning, the double-elimination format starts at 09:15 with the men’s Round 1 action. The 24 pairs in the men’s main draw include 10 teams from Czech Republic, eight from Poland, as well as four from Germany and two teams from Slovakia. Nine home pairs, two duos from Poland and one from Slovakia compose the 12 to battle for honours on the women’s side.
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