2017 EUROPEAN BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS – Men’s Draw
The home team favorites continued their advancement on day 4th day of the 2017 European Beach Volleyball Championships. Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins won their semi-final 2-1 over Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle of Belgium to advance. On the other half of the bracket, Italian pair Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo will play for a possible 3rd gold medal in the last 4 events of this tournament after beating Dutch pair Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen.
For the Latvians, it was an up-and-down match after the they dominated the first set, gave away the 2nd, and fought back in the 3rd.
“Everything went as we wanted it to go in the first set,” Samoilovs said. “But in the second set, they lifted their level and we couldn’t block them.
“Myself I sat down a little bit after a lot of jumping from the previous set. With such a huge crowd behind us, the hardest part is to concentrate and not be carried away with their wildness and let your hands move the wrong way. If you cannot block the opponent, you need to focus to keep the ball in play, so remaining focused was the toughest part of this game.”
As for the final, two of the top 5 teams in Europe and, truly, the world, these two sides match up frequently throughout the year. Thus far, though, the Dutch have had a decided advantage. They won 2-0 in round 2 of The Hague 3-star tournament in mid-June, and then again a week later in the same stage of the Porce Major, where the Dutch won 2-1.
|70||19-Aug||18:00||1||Brouwer/Meeuwsen NED ||Lupo/Nicolai ITA ||1-2 (25-23, 15-21, 11-15)||0:46|
|69||19-Aug||17:00||1||Koekelkoren/van Walle BEL ||Samoilovs/Smedins LAT ||1-2 (14-21, 21-15, 12-15)||0:44|