FIVB2017 SWATCH BEACH VOLLEYBALL FIVB WORLD TOUR FINALS – MEN
The semi-finals of the men’s draw at the 2017 FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany will feature two pairs from Europe and two from the Americas on Sunday morning.
In one half of the draw will be the United States’ Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena against Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak.
In the other will be Brazilians Evandro/Andre against Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo.
There have never before been two European teams in the men’s World Tour Finals semi-finals before, with North and South American teams dominating the first two years of this tournament.
Semi-Finals, Finals Schedule:
- Sunday, August 27th: Dalhausser/Lucena (USA) vs. Losiak/Kantor (Poland) @ 10:00 AM
- Sunday, August 27th: Nicolai/Lup (Italy) vs. Evandro/Andre (Brazil) @ 11:00 AM
- 3rd place – Sunday, August 27th: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 @ 1:30 PM
- Sunday, August 27th: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 @ 3:00 PM
All times Hamburg Time, GMT +2
Dalhausser/Lucena (USA) def. Saxton/Schalk (Canada) 2-1 (21-23, 25-23, 15-12)
Dalhausser and Lucena will be looking for their 3rd FIVB World Tour win in 7 starts this year after knocking off Canadians Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk in the quarterfinals for the 2nd time this season. Saxton/Schalk were the 4th-place finishers in last year’s tournament, but the Americans came in with the top seed and the hot hand.
The match almost ended early. After the Canadians won the opening set, Dalhausser/Lucena won 10 of the last 14 points in the 2nd to pull the match even. They carried that momentum into the tiebreak to advance.
“They’ve been playing well, hats off to them,” Lucena said. “We got lucky but I’ll take it. Anytime you’re down 19-15, 99% of the time you are going to lose the game. But we are capable of scoring points and that’s what we did. And we carried it over to the third”.
“We’ve just been around for so long and we knew anything could happen,” Dalhausser said after the match. “And something just happened there and we ended up winning. These guys are good, they’ve been in finals before. Anybody can win on a given day.”
Schalk expressed frustration at the loss post match. “I’m very disappointed. We gave it to them. We had the complete control in the second set and just made some mental errors. It’s super frustrating, this should have been our game. We had our opportunities to win the match and that’s going to stink for a while.”
Losiak/Kantor (Poland) def. Bockermann/Schumann (Germany) 2-0 (14-21, 14-21)
For the first time ever (this is the 3rd edition of the event), Poland will be represented in the semi-finals of an FIVB World Tour final event. This is the first time that these two pairs have played – as this is Bockermann’s first tournament playing with Lorenz Schumann.
It was the block of Kantor and the serve of Losiak that carried the day for the Polish side.
The Poles will run into a challenge in Dalhausser and Lucena – they’ve dropped both matches to the Americans so far this year, both in 2-0 scores.
Nicolai/Lupo (Italy) def. Herrera/Gavira (Spain) 2-1 (19-21, 21-14, 15-11)
Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo have carried their momentum from last week’s European Championship gold in to their first World Tour Finals semi-final round witha 2-1 win over Spanish pair Herrera/Gavira.
“It was very close. We were playing well in the first set but Adrián (Gavira) had a good run on serving and we couldn’t come back,” Nicolai said. “We put more pressure on serving in the second set and we won.”
The difference came in the 2nd and 3rd sets, where the Italians continued to attack Herrera on serve, and he became less effective. Likewise, the Spanish serving that was strong in the 1st set fell off in the 2nd and 3rd.
Evandro/Andre (Brazil) def. Doppler/Horst (Austria) 2-0 (21-15, 22-20)
Evandro Oliveira became the only male player to return to the World Tour Finals semi-finals after he and partner Andre Loyola (who was not his partner at last year’s World Tour Finals) beat Austrians Doppler/Horst 2-0 on Saturday.
Brazil leaned heavily on an effective short service game in the first set, which led to some big blocks. Austrian serving improved in the 2nd, making the match closer, but a few key mistakes gave Brazil the win.
“I’m very pleased,” Evandro said. “We are going through a great moment and it feels great to be on my third semifinals in the World Tour Finals in three years. If we can keep our consistency and can keep playing well we can keep moving forward in the tournament.”
Doppler said after the match that his “body was not in good shape” after the grueling three-weekend run of the World Championships, European Championships, and now the World Tour Finals. He said that both of his knees were in a great deal of pain, and that made it hard to jump against the 6’11” Evandro.
Evandro and Andre were crowned the World Champions 2 weeks ago.