German pair Christine Aulenbrock and Cinja Tillmann enjoyed two wins fron two on day one
Myslowice, Poland, June 6, 2013 – Christine Aulenbrock and Cinja Tillmann from Germany enjoyed the opening day of competition at the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships by winning both their matches, but they went about it the hard way.
In both they had to comeback after losing the opening set, but ended the day with a 2-1 (18-21, 21-13, 15-13) victory against the Czech Republic’s Eliska Galova and Adela Machova, then came back from another opening set loss to beat Italy’s Giada Benazzi and Greta Cavestro 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 15-21).
It leaves them top of Pool F, with one match to play.
“We won two games, but we were always sleeping in the first set of each match,” Aulenbrock said. “Then we got better the further into the game. We used the tactics our coach told us about and then we played well.
“We told each other to focus on each ball and fight for each ball. It was important because our pool is so good and other teams are also playing well and there you have to fight for each ball. I think in the last two-thirds we found our rhythm and I think tomorrow we will improve further.”
Austrian pair Katharina Schutzenhofer and Lena Plesiutschnig also enjoyed the opening day and secured two wins from two.
The pair shrugged off the persistent rain to beat Sweden’s Matilda Skagerberg and Anniken Radstrom 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) and Denise Wooding and Charlotte Siding from Canada 2-0 (21-17, 21-11).
“It was ok, but I think we can improve our play,” Schutzenhofer said after the second win. “We are only playing our second tournament together, so we can still improve. I think we just need to get used to playing together.”
The two wins set up a winner takes all clash with Russia’s Yulia Abalakina and Irina Chaika to determine who tops Pool E. The Russians also enjoyed wins over the Swedish and Canadian team and like the Austrians won both in straight sets.
The Russians finished second at the 2012 CEV U23 European Championships, so Schutzenhofer and Plesiutschnig are well aware of the challenge they face.
“We won both games today, so tomorrow we play against Russia and the winner is the leader of the group,” Schutzenhofer said. “Russia finished in second place last year, so I think there won’t be any pressure and we can play our best against them.”
Thirty-two teams per gender will take place in the main draw of the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships. The main draw started on June 6 and the tournament runs through until Sunday, June 9 when both the men’s and women’s finals take place.
Myslowice, located 70km from Poland’s ancient capital Krakow, is hosting an FIVB age-group tournament for the third time, after successfully hosting the U19 and U21 version in 2006 and 2007.
It has also regularly hosted stops on the FIVB World Tour – the first tournament was a women-only tournament in 2008, as was the 2011 event. In 2009, 2010 and 2012 it was the men who lit up the sand.