It has been a tough few days of volleyball at the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup in Doha, as the finals have been set to feature the Netherland’s Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen and Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko.
Stoyanovskiy/Velichko are looking to take their first FIVB World Tour gold in their second tournament as a pairing. The duo took 9th place at the Fort Lauderdale Major just last week and continuing a strong run in the Doha tournament.
On the Dutch side, Brouwer/Meeuwsen will try to take their first gold medal of the year after finishing with the bronze at the Hague tournament. The last time the duo topped the podium was the 3-star Xiamen tournament in April 2017.
Propelling the Russian duo to the finals was a perfect 2-0 mark in Pool B – taking down Italy’s Alex Ranghieri/Marco Caminati in three along with Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak. After a first-round bye, the Russia squad easily swept through France’s Youssef Krou/Quincy Aye and Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins to advance to the semifinals.
On the other side, the Dutch duo went 1-1 in Pool H, taking down Switzerland’s Nico Beeler/Marco Krattiger but losing to American’s Ryan Doherty/William Allen in a heated three-set match. They moved along with a sweep of Poland’s Mariusz Prudel/Jakub Szalankiewicz and another sweep of USA’s John Hyden/Theo Brunner in the second round. In the final round before their semifinal match, the Dutch team fought for a three-set win over Brazil’s Alvaro Filho/Saymon Santos.
In the semifinals, the Russian duo took down American’s Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena in a 2-0, (21-19, 21-16) battle while the Dutch duo downed Qatar’s Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan. Dalhausser/Lucena’s struggle to reach the gold medal match comes after they ran the table at the five-star event in Fort Lauderdale last week, taking home the title on their home court.