Home teams shine at NEVZA Beach Sweden in Göteborg
Following a busy opening day of the tournament, the NEVZA Beach Sweden in Göteborg reached the critical stages Saturday, with semi-final places up for grabs in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Top-seeded Jyrki Nurminen/Pekka Piippo of Finland are unbeaten so far and secured their semi-final spot with an impressive 2-0 (21-7, 21-18) third-round victory over Norwegian team Jon Jørstad/Lars Retterholt. The same goes for hometown boys Martin Appelgren/Alexander Herrmann, representing hosts Göteborg Beachvolley Club. The Swedish top men’s tandem defeated Finland’s Teppo Pulkkinen/Santeri Siren and also secured a place in the semis via a thrilling 2-0 (25-23, 21-19) victory.
Alexander Herrmann said: “It was like a war out there on sand. I had a lot of pressure on me playing side-out as our opponents were serving on me. But Martin [Appelgren] was fantastic and really helped me, playing with great composure. In the end we came out on top, much thanks to our ability to step up the level of our performance when the sets came to their conclusion. We have won every single set so far, which of course feels very good going into the semi-finals tomorrow.”
In the women’s third round, Finland’s Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen continued their unbeaten run, edging the Swedish twins Kristina Thurin and Susanna Thurin in two straight but close sets (23-21, 21-17). The other third round battle was an all-Norwegian affair, where the country’s top-seeded teams, Ingrid Lunde/Oda Johanne Ulveseth and Victoria Faye Kjølberg/Ane Guro Hjortland, crossed their ways. And it was the latter of them who emerged as the eventual winners after a game where the momentum swayed back and forth, finally ending up in the hands of Kjølberg/Hjortland 2-1 (21-16, 20-22, 15-10).
Tadva Yoken/Camilla Nilsson had a great run on Saturday and are also through to the final day of competition. Early in the morning they took on Danish side Cecilie Kollner Olsen/Laerke Mygind Grønfeldt and won 2-0 (21-14, 28-26). Later on the Swedes added another win to their resume, defeating Line Trans Hansen/Maria Elisabeth Tyndeskov – also representing Denmark – in a thrilling three-setter (15-21, 21-9, 15-12). In the afternoon they went on to secure a spot in the semi-finals, fighting down Lunde/Ulveseth in two action-packed sets (21-19, 29-27).
Tadva Yoken said: “What a day! We are extremely satisfied with our performance today and are really happy to take part in the semi-finals. In today’s final match we managed to pull off a couple of big turnarounds when we were trailing. When under pressure, we just kept our cool and played really disciplined. Our defence was excellent. We enjoy playing at home in Sweden and are really able to take advantage of all the support we are getting from friends, family and colleagues. And it is a really special feeling as this tournament is the last of the season for us. It means a lot to us to be able to play our best game - at this very moment - and at home in Sweden. We cannot wait to get out there again tomorrow!”
The second competition day in Göteborg ended with a dramatic three-setter where the Thurin twins took on Janne Pedersen/Emilie Olimstad. The Swedes lost the first set but performed an epic comeback as they rolled on to win 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-13); a huge success for Sweden, as three of their nine teams participating in the tournament are through to the semi-finals.
For further updates and results please go to www.volleyboll.se Öppnas i nytt fönster.or follow Svensk volleyboll on Facebook Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster.. The official event Facebook page is available right here Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster..
Pictures courtesy by Fredrik Stenholm