FIVB Ljubljana One Star
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Aug. 3-5, 2018
Russians Valeriy Samoday/Taras Myskiv climbed their way from the qualifying rounds to the top of the podium in Ljubljana with seven wins, while Swiss pair Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre captured the women’s gold.
Samoday/Myskiv earned gold their FIVB World Tour debut as a pairing, winning Pool A with a 2-0 mark and a bye to the quarterfinals. Two more sweeps put the pair in the championship match, where they dispatched homestanding Slovenians Jan Pokersnik/Nejc Zemljak in the championship match 21-14, 21-17.
The runnerup showing was the best finish for Pokersnik/Zemljak since winning the Montpelier One Star on Sept. 9, 2017. In 2018, the pair’s top finish was fourth at the Singapore Two Star on June 24. The duo bounced back with four straight wins after dropping their Pool A opener to Samoday/Myskiv to make the final.
Swiss pair Florian Breer/Yves Haussener rounded out the podium, outlasting Slovenians Tadej Bozenk/Danijel Pokersnik 17-21, 21-13, 15-10 for the bronze.
Bozenk/Pokersnik managed their best FIVB effort of the year, topping a ninth-place finish at the Porec One Star on July 8.
The women’s championship came down to No. 5 Swiss duo Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre and No. 7 Ukrainians Inna Makhno/Iryna Makhno. Bobner/Verge-Depre picked up the gold with a 21-16, 21-17 victory.
It was the first FIVB medal of the year for Bobner/Verge-Depre, who placed fourth at the World University Beach Championships on July 13. The Swiss duo won Pool D and went on to take all five of their matches in straight sets.
The silver medal marked the second FIVB podium finish of the year for the Makhnos, following a runnerup finish at the Porec One Star on July 8.
The bronze medal went to Slovenia’s No. 16 Ana Skarlovnik/Jelena Pesic, who downed Poland’s No. 9 Martyna Kloda/Agata Ceynowa 21-13, 21-19. It was a rematch of the Pool A title match, which Skarlovnik/Pesic won in tiebreak (19-21, 21-13, 15-11).
Skarlovnik/Pesic earned their best FIVB finish ahead of a 21st place effort in their World Tour debut in Porec last month.
One American men’s team – Adam Roberts/Troy Field – and one American women’s team – Lindsey Fuller/Kaley Melville were part of the Ljubljana lineup.
Roberts/Field, who were making their second FIV appearance following a 17th-place showing at the Haiyang Three Star on July 22, dropped both of their Pool B matches. The pair fell to homestanding Ziga Kumer/Rok Mozic 20-22, 21-19, 16-14 and Czech duo Jindrich Weiss/Martin Tichy 21-14, 21-19.
Fuller/Melville fell 22-20, 21-19 in the opening round of qualifying, playing in just their second FIVB Tournament together following a fifth-place effort at the Manila One Star on May 6.