FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Xiamen Open | 7 - 12 October 2014


Press release

Greece's Kotsilianos/Zoupanis top pool at Xiamen Open in first main draw of 2014

Kotsilianos Georgios (right) and Zoupanis Nikos of Greece top Pool D with three straight victories in their first entry into the FIVB main draw of 2014

Xiamen, China, October 9, 2014 – Three wins for Kotsilianos Georgios and Zoupanis Nikos of Greece place them top of their pool at the $150,000 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open. This is the third visit to China for the 2014 FIVB World Tour and the second consecutive year the tour has been to Xiamen.

Kotsilianos/Zoupanis beat Canada’s Maverick Hatch and Christian Redmann for their third win in Pool D giving the Grecians a bye directly into round 2 of the knockout stage on Friday.  

Kotsilianos/Zoupanis played a very calm first set keeping the ball tight in the breezy conditions ending the set 21-15. Hatch/Redmann took the lead in the second all the way to 13-13 before the Greek pair edged ahead. A stream of big blocks by Zoupanis followed by a huge hit finished the match 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

“We’re very happy for the win and winning the pool. For us it was the first FIVB main draw this season so we are happy that we have done it well. I think we played very stable in the three games of the pool,” said Kotsilianos.   

Kotsilianos/Zoupanis’s second pool match on Wednesday had been much less smooth against Russia’s Liamin Nikita and Barsouk Dmitri. The Greek men managed to turn the match around after losing the first set in an hour long nail biter.

“Of course yesterday was very tough, the first set was hard for us to come back because we lost it 34-32, so we fought back and it was also good for our psychology, but we hope we will continue like this to play the same way during the whole tournament,” said Kotsilianos.   

Xiamen has held good fortune for Kotsilianos/Zoupanis as they posted their best result to date at the Xiamen Grand Slam in 2013 with a fifth place finish.

“We’ll see, we will try to play our best whatever happens. For us the most important is to play well the way that we want to play and to work with this and to have good results in the future and we hope to start from this week,” said Kotsilianos.   

All European match-up

Pool F was an even match-up between Austria’s Tobias Winter and Lorenz Petutschnig, Armin Dollinger and Clemens Wickler from Germany and Switzerland’s Jonas Kissling and Mats Kovatsch. Winter/Petutschnig were ahead going into the final pool match with two wins, but the Germans and Swiss had the power to alter that.

Dollinger/Wickler faced Winter/Petutschnig in their deciding pool match and the result was capable of mixing up the pool order. A fierce competition ensued as the two determined European teams clearly wanted the win.

Dollinger/Wickler edged ahead in the first 10-7, with well-placed balls by Wickler finding the space on the Austrian side. Germany held the lead to take the first set 21-16. The second set was an epic with neither team giving an inch taking the match all the way to 2-0 (21-16, 30-28).  

“It was really long and really hard and now we are happy that we can win against the Austrian team. We just wanted to play good and do our own thing and then we were sure that we can win the match,” said Dollinger.

Despite Germany’s win, Winter/Petutschnig’s results were just enough to place them top of Pool F entering into the single elimination competition. Dollinger/Wickler finish second and will play in round 1 on Friday.

“We’re not sure, but I think if we had made two points more we would be first in the group. We hope that we don’t have to play at 8:00 tomorrow so we can sleep a little bit and recover from this day,” said Wickler.

On the adjacent court, the other Pool F match was in full swing with Kissling, J.-Kovatsch playing Italy’s Giacomo De Fabritiis and Enrico Rossi. The Swiss team made heavy work of the match but took the win 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) placing them third in Pool F.

“We didn’t play good beach volleyball throughout the whole game, but we knew we had to win this game so we would for sure be in the next round. Yesterday we had four sets when we played really good, so we’re confident for the next games,” said Kissling.

“Finally in the end it’s a win, it was not our best beach volleyball as Jonas said but sometimes you just have to play and when it’s a win at the end it’s OK,” said Kovatsch.

“It was a pretty good group, we didn’t know the Italians too well but the other two teams we knew they are good. They are not teams who sometimes play bad or good, they are always on the same level so we’re happy to go on from this group,” said Kissling.

Kissling, J.-Kovatsch’s best result of this year was also in China at the 2014 FIVB Fuzhou Open where they ended fifth.

“I think we’re always looking for the next game. We had a little break after the Grand Slam season and we’re starting again now with competition so we just have to go from game to game and see how it goes.” Kissling.

With the Grand Slam portion of the 2014 FIVB World Tour now complete, the tour continues after Xiamen with four double-gender FIVB Open events along with one men-only FIVB Open tournament.  The tour will travel to Argentina for the FIVB Parana Open (Oct. 28-Nov. 2) before heading to Doha for the men-only FIVB Qatar Open (Nov. 4-8). India will then host the double-gender FIVB Vizag Open (Nov. 25-30), before the 2014 calendar comes to a close in South Africa with the double-gender FIVB Mangaung Open (Dec. 9-14).

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