Kazan, Russia, June
2, 2011 – Latvia and Great Britain qualified for the semifinals of the
men's competition of the CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Zonal
Phase tournament (Pool A) after they both won their “quarterfinals”
against France and Bulgaria respectively at the “AK Bars Wrestling
Palace” on Thursday.
Latvia's Martins Plavins is in full flight on his way to victory with Janis Smedins against France
While Switzerland and Russia had
automatically qualified for the semifinals due to their higher ranking,
Latvia swept France in three games to easily qualify for the semifinal
with Switzerland due to take place on Friday with Martins Plavins/Janis
Smedins, bronze medalists at the 2010 European Championship and holders
of fifth-place at the recently completed FIVB Swatch World Tour Prague
Open, winning two matches while the other victory in the
best-of-five-contest was provided by Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Ruslans
Sorokins. Brothers Kevin and Andy Cès – regulars in the FIVB Swatch
World Tour – could not help France’s cause losing 2-1 to
Samoilovs/Sorokins and in straight sets to Plavins and Smedins (21-19,
"We played not so badly, though we didn’t manage to avoid
some mistakes," Plavins reflected on his victory over France. "However,
that’s quite normal for the start of the playing season. We are
currently ranking higher than our French opponents, and that’s why we
could snatch the victory."
"Latvia served a little better then
us," Kevin Ces said. "They controlled the ball better. They played good,
and we played not enough to beat them today."
Britain had to come-from-behind to beat Bulgaria 3:1 after Bulgaria’s
Neven Neshev/Valentin Dimov edged Jody Gooding/Greg Weaver (21-17,
21-17) in the first match before the Brits claimed the next three
France will play Bulgaria for places 5 and 6 on Friday.