FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Antalya Open | 20 - 25 octobre 2015


Press release

Schwaiger and Hansel topple Antalya top seeds to win the pool

Austria's Barbara Hansel (right) and Stefanie Schwaiger topped their pool with a win over top seeds Ilka Semmler (left) and Katrin Holtwick

Antalya, Turkey, October 22, 2015 – Stefanie Schwaiger and Barbara Hansel upset top seeds Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler 2-1 (21-13, 17-21, 15-11) on Thursday in a direct match for the pool win at the FIVB World Tour Antalya Open.

The 16th seeded Austrians entered the final pool match with a better track record than the Germans; they were leading the series 3-0 against Holtwick and Semmler and booked two straight wins in the pool on Wednesday while Germany lost a set in both games.

But Holtwick and Semmler put up a fight in an attempt to change the odds. “It was a really close game”, Hansel admitted. “The first set was easy, but it got a bit difficult after that. We are happy we could make some good serves in the third. That made a big difference. Against these good teams you need to take a risk. Sometimes it’s a little out and sometimes it’s in. But we made the last point and that is the most important thing.”

The 29-year old Schwaiger and 32-year old Hansel teamed up at the end of last year when Schwaiger’s sister Doris decided to end her beach volleyball career. Since then it was back to qualification most of the tournaments.

“So we always had to play two matches more and we are very tired now”, Schwaiger said. “It’s tough to get up in the morning and play. Even if it is only one game. So we are really glad we reached our level in this game. Good to know that we are able to do that even when we are tired.”

After finishing ninth in the previous three tournaments, the Austrians hope to end the season with a little bit more. Schwaiger: “So that we can start with a better seeding in the tournaments next year, for the Olympic qualification.”

First pool win for Kazakhstan

In a direct match for first place in pool E twelfth seeded Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova came back from behind against fifth ranked Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Birlova from Russia: 18-21, 21-19, 15-11.

Mashkova: “We are so happy, because it’s the first time we won the pool. And last time we played against this Russian team, in Sochi, we lost 1-2. So today we took revenge.”

The Kazakh girls have been playing together since 2009, with a couple of fifth places their best result on the World Tour. “We have tried to change teams but we don’t have another strong second team in Kazakhstan. It’s impossible. But we enjoy playing together and we hope to finally win a medal here.”

Four teams finished pool play with three straight wins. Second seeded Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy, seventh seeded Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grossner from Germany, Finland’s Taru Lahti and Riikka Lehtonen (9th) and Czech pair Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova (13th).

Other pool winners are Argentina’s Ana Galay and Georgina Klug (3rd) and USA’s Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day (6th). All pool winners advance directly to the second elimination round. The numbers two and three in the pool start in the first knockout round.

The women’s competition of the inaugural FIVB Antalya Open continues on Friday with three elimination rounds. The semifinals and medal matches are scheduled for Saturday. The men’s competition is running one day behind, with the semifinals and medal matches on Sunday.

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