FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Antalya Open | 20 - 25 October 2015


Press release

German girls on a roll in Antalya

Tough day for Gemany's Katrin Holtwick (left) and Ilka Semmler, but still unbeaten

Antalya, Turkey, October 21, 2015 – German women put their mark down on the first day of the FIVB World Tour Antalya Open main draw. Three out of the four German pairs remained unbeaten after two rounds of pool play on Wednesday.

Top seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler were challenged though in both their matches. In the morning the German veterans played a tough match against Ukrainian qualifiers Valentyna Davidova and Ievgeniia Shchypkova (22-24, 21-12, 15-11). And they also needed three sets against Austria’s Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig (21-18, 15-21, 15-10).

In the second set against the Austrians they were even trailing 17-8, with Holtwick having trouble in reception on Plesiutschnig’s strong serves. “Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not so easy”, Holtwick said. “And I think today was one of those days where it was not so easy. Even in the first game this morning I had some trouble with the side-out. The good thing is that we won two matches and we are happy we finished the day like this. And you have to accept games like this. The season is long.”

Their day in Antalya was also long. Due to thunderstorms their second game was postponed and moved to the Akdeniz University venue instead of the seaside Beach Park. Semmler: “It was a really tough day, first game at eight and last game at eight.”

The German girls, who are hoping to end the season with a medal, faced another challenge in Antalya. Holtwick: “It’s the first tournament since eight years that our coach is not with us. So it’s a total new situation we have to handle.”

“It’s really different”, Semmler added. “Because we had to prepare for the games completely on our own. That’s ok, we can do that. But it’s always easier if you have a coach that serves on you before the game, to get used to the pressure.” In their final pool match on Thursday they face another Austrian team, Stefanie Schwaiger and Barbara Hansel who did not lose a set yet.

Straight wins for Bieneck and Grossner

Seventh seeded Viktoria Bieneck and Julia Grossner booked two straight wins to take the lead in pool G. The German pair defeated compatriots Teresa Mersmann and Isabel Schneider 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) in their opening game and set aside Italy’s Agata Zuccarelli and Monica Lestini 2-0 (21-8, 21-16) in their second.

“The first game against Germany is always special, because we know each other well”, Grossner said. “But we are happy that we had a good start today. In the second game we had to concentrate because it was very late, but I think we did well.”

Bieneck and Grossner won the Anapa Open last year, their first medal, but this year their best finish was fifth at the Lucerne Open and Xiamen Open. Bieneck: “We want to have a good season finish. We want to go to the quarterfinals and then see what happens. That is what we play for now.”

On Thursday they will play 23rd seeded Alexandra Moiseeva and Anastasia Barsuk from Russia, who also remained unbeaten, for top position in pool G.

Qualifiers on top

German qualifiers Anni Schumacher and Kim Behrens (22nd) defeated Slovakian qualifiers Lubica Siposova and Lucia Behunova 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) and USA’s Summer Ross and Lane Carico (11th) 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 15-13). With one match to go they share top position in pool F with USA’s sixth seeds Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day.

Schumacher and Behrens recently finished 25th in Rio together but this partnership is only for two events. Next year Schumacher teams up with young Lisa Arnholdt and Behrens with Nadja Glenzke. “We are here now to just get some points for both of our teams next year”, Schumacher said. “And we try to have fun of course.”

Second seeded Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth booked straight wins over Turkey’s Merve Aktas and Resmiye Cakmak (21-8, 21-11) and Olaya Pazo and Norisbeth Agudo from Venezuela (21-16, 21-17). On Thursday they will play France’s Laura Longuet and Alexandra Jupiter (15th) for the pool win.

Also unbeaten are third seeded Ana Galay and Georgina Klug in pool C, Czech pair Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova (13th) and fourth seeded Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré from Switzerland in pool D, Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti (9th) in pool H, Russia’s Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Birlova (5th) and Kazachstan’s Mashkova and Tsimbalova (12th). The last two will face each other on Thursday for the pool win in E.

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