Rhodes, Greece, September 17, 2010. Cyprus’ women edged Romania in a ‘golden set’, to earn the third place in the Sub Zonal Phase – Pool G of the European Continental Beach Volleyball Cup and will hence have the chance continue their Olympic quest for London 2012.
Mariota Angelopoulou of Cyprus receives the ball in the deciding ‘golden set’ against Romania
Manolina Constantinou/Mariota Angelopoulou scored two victories and Andri Iordanous/Thelma Christoforou conceded two defeats to send the Cyprus v. Romania clash to a deciding 15-point golden set. Eventually, Constantinou/Angelopoulou proved no match for Marina Cojocaru/Nicoleta Oprisan, sailing to a straightforward 15-11 that tipped the scales in favour of Cyprus.
“We had to reach the golden set in order to pull together and take matters more seriously and minimise our errors,” admitted Angelopoulou after the match. “Eventually, though, we reached our goal of qualifying to the next phase and all’s well that ends well.”
Meanwhile, in the men’s competition in Rhodes, Cyprus scored a major upset, when Jimmy Apostolou/Misha Kushnerev came back from 0-1 to defeat Greece’s No. 1 team of Manos Xenakis/Giorgos Kotsilianos 2-1 (08-21, 21-15, 15-08) and force a fourth match in the clash Greece v. Cyprus. It was Panayotis Mourtzios/Nikos Zoupanis eventually who scored the decisive victory over Andreas Zannis/Constantinos Hadjidamianou 2-0 (21-11, 21-14) and push Greece through to Saturday’s final.
In the men’s final, Greece takes on Estonia, which comfortably sailed past Romania with three straight-set victories in the semis. Both Greece and Estonia have already secured a berth in the next phase of the Continental Cup, but the final ranking will determine the seeding of the teams in the next round. The third qualifying spot from Pool G will go to the winner of the bronze medal match, which features Cyprus v. Romania, on schedule for Saturday morning.
Competition in Rhodes concludes on Saturday with the men’s bronze medal matches in the morning and the men’s and women’s finals in the afternoon.