FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Qatar Open | 9 - 13 November 2015


Press release

Aussie duo hold firm to reach Qatar main draw

Damien Schumann (left) and Joshua Court are aiming to end 2015 on a high in Qatar

Doha, Qatar, November 9, 2015 – Joshua Court and Damien Schumann had to hold their focus to the end to ensured they progressed from the Qatar Open qualifiers to the main draw on Monday. 

The Australian pair began with a 2-1 (25-23, 17-21, 15-11) win over Venezuela’s Igor Hernandez and Leonard Alexis Colina Chourio and then followed that up by knocking out the top-ranked side in the qualifiers, England’s Jake Sheaf and Chris Gregory, 2-1 (24-22, 13-21, 15-13).

“It was brutal,” Court said. “They came out firing and so did we so it was a bit tit for tat in the first set. We just got the better of them in the third set, it was a bit shaky and there were some close points, but it was a great match by both teams.

“I think it was 12-9 at one point and that was a good mental breakthrough for us, just to keep siding out and stay on top of them and push through to beat them. It was 15-13, but that two, three-point break in the middle definitely gave us a help.”

Court and Schumann have been together on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour since the start of 2014 and made it through the qualifiers in Qatar a year ago. 

This year has been a tricky one for the duo, though they have enjoyed some success on their domestic tour as well as finishing second a week ago at the Oceania final of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Continental Cup. 

They also made it to the pool stage at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and would like to end the 2015 season on a high note. 

“It has been a bit of an up and down year, mainly down,” Schumann said. “We’ve had a tough year, Josh’s dad passed away right around the World Champs stage, so it’s been pretty hard finding time to consistently train together. 

“It didn’t go our way last week at the Continental Cup and then to come here and still be going for our serves even when it was tight is really positive for us. It’s not just the qualification, there are stacks of good teams here, so we are very happy to get through.”

Late call allows Polish pair to continue learning curve 

Poland’s Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak will join the Australians in the main draw after they beat Russia’s Ruslan Bykanov and Maksim Hudyakov 2-0 (21-15, 22-20) to progress. 

“It wasn’t that easy as it looked; it was a really tough game,” Kujawiak said. “The last set was very close, but we’re happy because after one month after stopping we are now in the main draw.”

The pair are one of the up and coming duos in Polish beach volleyball. They won the 2014 FIVB U21 World Championships and recently added gold at the European U22 Championships.

The pair were in the middle of some well-earned rest before the Polish Volleyball Federation asked them if they fancied playing in Qatar and they quickly accepted the offer and headed to Doha. 

“We stopped playing on the World Tour one month ago and finished after the CEV U22, but then our federation asked if we would like to come to Qatar,” Kujawiak added. 

“We’ve started to play the highest level in beach volleyball, so it is a good experience for us to be here.”

The last of three open events on the 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar, the FIVB Qatar Open started on Monday and will continue till Friday at the Qatar Beach Volleyball Academy in the Al Gharafa Sports Club in Doha.

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