Cuba’s Nivaldo/Gonzalez Upset #1 Seeded Filho/Saymon To Win Pool A

  0 Carly DeMarque | August 02nd, 2017 | Beach, FIVB Majors Series, FIVB World Tour, News, Pro Beach


Cubans Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez top Pool A with an upset win over #1 seeded Alvaro Filho and Saymon Santos 2-1, (17-21, 21-15, 15-10). This is only the second time in the history of the FIVB Beach World Championships that the #1 seeded team was taken down in the preliminary rounds. Back in 2011, Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rodgers were upset by fellow American’s Casey Jennings and Kevin Wong in Rome.

The Cubans served the vast majority of their balls to Santos who then had to hit the ball and was wildly inaccurate with his shots. He was blocked three times by Gonzalez and made a number of errors. His successful shots came with hard angles around the block but played it safe for most of the match by hitting the ball to the middle of the court.

Both teams had a number of hitting errors, but it came down to which team had the least amount, being the Cubans. In the second set, Diaz hit a perfect set going 5/5. Though his hitting was fairly accurate, his serving was all over the place, missing long a number of times and only serving the ball short on the court. Gonzalez saved the serving with more accurate shots but still played it safe going down the middle.

“This match was really hard. It might not be the most important games because both teams will qualify for the next round. We had the opportunity to show our skills and show our level against Brazil,” said Diaz. “We are doing very well here. Now we have more intelligence and know more the level of the beach volleyball of the World Tour.”

Just two years ago the Cubans faced the same situation they were in now, having to play the top seeded team in the tournament during the preliminary round. Last time they came in second behind Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst. Since then, the Cubans have improved their play and are looking to go far in the tournament.

Both teams will advance on in the tournament to the Round of 32 that will begin on August 3 with both teams missing having to compete in the Lucky Losers bracket.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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