|Termoli, Italy, September 10, 2004 - With Germany netting four total medals in the first two women's FIVB World Championships for players under 18 years old, it would appear that the teams of Florentina Büttner/Julia Sude and Lina Gorenc/Katarina Schillerwein would have "a lot of pressure" on them to continue the tradition.
"We are just trying to do our best and hope for a podium placement," said Sude, who teamed with Büttner as the third-seeded team to capture Pool C for Germany with a 3-0 mark after defeating 10th-seeded Milady Bozzato and Enrica Merlo of Italy 21-11 and 21-9 here Friday morning on Rio Vivo Beach.
Gorenc and Schillerwein also won their pool (F) with a 3-0 mark as the 19th-seeded Germans scored a 21-8 and 21-4 win over 18th-seeded Hilde Deraas and Linda Marie Groetan of Norway Friday afternoon. Gorenc and Schillerwein are 4-0 in the competition after winning a qualifying match Wednesday.
"Germany has had wonderful success the past two years, but I don't think that has anything to do with us," said Sude, who captured the silver medal with Büttner at last month's European U-18 finals in Poland. "Right now, we are concentrating on our play. We feel comfortable playing with each other and the experience of playing together should help us in the elimination rounds."
The teams of Claudia Lehmann and Friederike Romberg and Ruth Flemig/Ilka Semmler captured the silver and bronze medals for Germany in the first FIVB U-18 World Championships in Xylokastro, Greece.
Last September in Pattaya, Thailand, Jana Kohler and Laura Ludwig of Germany defeated Barbara Figueirado and Carolina Solberg Salgado 21-11, 30-32 and 15-7 for the title. Frederike Fischer and Sandra Piasecki captured the the 2003 bronze medal.
Büttner and Sude have already defeated one Brazilian team this week (Carolina Aragao/Clarisse Peixoto, 21-18, 19-21 and 15-13 Friday) and are on the same side of the elimination bracket with the second-seeded Figueirado and Solberg Salgado, who captured Pool B with a 3-0 mark after defeating 11th-seeded Sandra Escobedo and Rosario Reyes of Mexico 21-13 and 21-15.
"It is great to have a chance to play against the best junior teams in the world," Sude noted, "and just like the SWATCH Tour, the Brazilians are always there competing for a title. We just hope we have a chance to play Sunday to represent our country. It is an honour to be here."
Also capturing women's pools Friday in the mixed gender event were 24th-seeded Oksana Bosjanok/Kadri Puri of Estonia (A), fourth-seeded Cynthia Barboza/Stephanie Barry of the United States (D) and fifth-seeded Marleen Van Iersel/Margo Wiltens of the Netherlands.
The first-round and quarter-finals of the single-elimination bracket will be played Saturday to determine the "final four" teams. Play concludes Sunday with the semi-finals and medal matches.