2017 EUROPEAN BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Germans Nadja Glenzke and Julia Grossner overcame a set one loss to cap off an outstanding European Beach Championship effort with the gold medal.
The pair, which has previously finished as high as ninth internationally, came back from the 21-15 loss to take the next two sets 21-17 and 15-11 for the win over Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova of the Czech Republic.
The Germans raced ahead early in Set 2 and held on for the win. The duo carried the momentum on to a 5-1 advantage in Set 3, only to see the Czechs tie things up at 9-all. That rally, however, sparked Glenzke/Grossner to a 6-2 run of their own and the gold medal.
“We just can’t believe we were able to jump from our previous best result to the gold medal,” Glenzke said. “Perhaps people expected one of the German teams to win #EuroBeachVolley, but I don’t think they expected us to do it.”
Glenzke/Grossner, which teamed up this year, made waves earlier in the competition by knocking off defending Olympic and world champs Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst in the quarterfinals.
Germany took home the bronze medal as well, with top seeded Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude claiming third place with a three-set win (17-21, 26-24, 15-8) over Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Jagoda Gruszczynska.
The Germans thwarted three match-point attempts by the Polish in Set 2 en route to a 26-24 win. In Set 3, Laboureur/Sude held the advantage throughout en route to the bronze.
The medal was the first in a major competition for the pair, which boasts two first place finishes at CEV Masters events and a few FIVB World Tour medals.
“It was a bronze medal match and one of the hardest in this tournament I would say,” Laboureur said. “A bronze medal match decides whether you win something or lose everything, whereas in the gold medal match at least you finish with the silver if you lose. We were with one foot outside of the podium, but something pulled us back and we managed to turn a difficult situation into a victory.”
“In the tiebreak at first we felt relieved that we were still in the game and we just took to the court with this feeling,” Sude added. “This season has been long and it has cost us a lot of effort. You can see that our movements are getting slower and less precise. We are nevertheless happy that we managed to finish the tournament with a medal, especially after our disappointment in the semi-final.”