2017 FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – VIENNA
- July 28 to August 6
- Vienna Centre Court, Vienna, Austria
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Maarten van Garderen and Christiaan Varenhorst continue to be the story of the tournament on the men’s side, as the wild card entry to the field has earned a spot in the semifinals. The Dutch side, ranked No. 45, downed No. 9 seed Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain, rallying for the 20-22, 21-19, 16-14 win.
“Medals are eternal,” Varenhorst said. “Fifth and ninth would have been good for us but still you want more, especially for me, I’ve been in the situation of playing for medals. My partner is just picking it up so great, I’m just so happy to play for medals again. In general our block defense is really good, we pick up a lot of rally points so we make up for our mistakes. Today and also yesterday it showed that we can fight like tigers, we can keep on fighting even if we are three points behind. That is the deciding factor.”
Varenhorst and van Garderen took advantage of 14 Spainish miscues, while committing just 11 in a match decided by just two points (57-55). Varenhorst put up three blocks, while van Garderen downed 28 kills in the victory.
The Dutch pair, which are now the lowest seeded team ever to make the semifinals, take on the highest remaining seed, No. 4 Evandro Goncalves and Andre Stein of Brazil on Sunday.
Evandro/Andre earned their spot in the semifinals by topping No. 13 seed Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk from Canada in a three-set rally. The Brazilians overcame 10 errors with six aces and four blocks from Evandro and 30 kills by Stein in the 17-21, 22-20, 15-10 decision.
“I’m very happy to be in the semifinals,” Andre said. “It’s my first World Championships, our first season together and we know we still have a lot to improve. We change a lot our strategy during the matches because we are still figuring out the best way to make the team work. This victory means a lot but now that we are here I want to win a medal”.
“I was a little bit nervous in the first set and I made some mistakes because of that, but Evandro was really important to keep us in the game. Our strategy worked better in the second set because of his serving and blocking since we put more pressure on them. We had a few mistakes, but managed to win it. And in the third set we kept the momentum. We’ve learned from every match here that we can’t stop believing in us.”
Rounding out the Final Four are No. 6 seed Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Nikita Liamin of Russia and No. 12 seed Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst, the hometown heroes from Austria.
Krasilnikov/Liamin took out third seeded Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in straight sets. The Russians had more offensive firepower in the match, with 28 kills to 21 and also used their serve to the tune of four aces, three by Krasilnikov. Dalhausser managed nine kills and three blocks as the Americans were outdone 42 to 33 in points.
“They played really well,” Dalhausser said. “First set they were on fire with the serve and sided out great. They also made some good defensive plays. They were the better team today for sure. There’s a lot of parity in the World Tour right now. If you don’t play well against a team like this you can go home. It was obviously disappointing. We were never able to get it going, really. We never played that great, which is unfortunate.
Doppler/Horst outlasted No. 7 seed Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland in a three-setter featuring a 33-31 opening set score in favor of the Polish. Doppler carried the Austrians with 24 kills and seven blocks in the match.
“I said it yesterday but today was even tougher, the hardest game in my life because we knew if we take that step, we’re playing for the medals,” Doppler said. “We lost the first set with a set ball in our hands, very close. We came back in the second set, we were leading 8-3 in the third set. It was tough mentally to go to the end but it was possible. Our goal here was to go through pool, our big goal was top 10 and now we’re playing for the medals in our hometown with this crowd. That’s once in your life. It’s the week of our life. Like I said before the tournament, if we have a good day, we can beat all of the teams, if we have a bad day, we can lose to all of them. It’s so tight between each team.
#4 Evandro Oliveira/Andre Stein (Brazil) def. Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk (Canada) 17-21, 22-20, 15-10
#6 Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin (Russia) def. #3 Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (USA) 21-15, 21-18
Christiaan Varenhorst/Maarten van Garderen def. #9 Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira (Spain) 20-22, 21-19, 16-14
#12 Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst def. #7 Bartosz Losiak/Piotr Kantor (Poland) 31-33, 21-18, 15-11
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