Swiss hold on against Germans
Kissling and Gerson were caught out by the power of the Poniewaz twins, Bennet and David in the first set, but recovered their poise to fight their way back into the match. Then in the third their determination allowed them to pull away and win 2-1 (14-21, 21-18, 15-7).
“It was a tough match and they played very, very well in the first set,” Kissling said. “We had to restart our game and we found some of their weaknesses and tried to play at them and it worked.
“The goal is to get a really good ranking in this tournament and if you lose in qualification it is really bad. We came to reach a good ranking and felt a bit of pressure.”
Austria’s Fabian Kandolf and Christoph Dressler had a more straightforward route to the knockout rounds when the beat Italy’s Nicola Tiozzo and Tiziano Andreatta 2-0 (21-13, 21-19).
Despite winning the first set in confident style, the Italian pair fought back hard in the second and made the Austrian duo fight hard for the win.
“It was a really hard fight,” Kandolf said.” We played very well in the first set and were able to get away from them. In the second set it was just a fight and both teams got the sideout, but we managed to win and now we are happy.”
At 20-19 the Italians appeared set to draw level once again and stretch the match out further before Dressler’s agility kept the ball alive and allowed Kandolf to score the winning point.
“The one thing our coach tells us is to want the ball,” Dressler said. “Every touch you have makes you better. At first I thought the ball was going out because it was very high, but I wanted the ball and I twisted to get it and we were able to make it.”
Joining them in the main draw are Latvian duo Rihards Finsters and Aleksandrs Solovejs, who beat Russians Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Andrey Bolgov 2-0 (21-16, 21-18). The fourth and final team to reach the main draw are Norway’s Svein Oddmund Solhaug and Daniel Bergerud who came back from losing the first set to defeat the USA’s Devon Hatcher and Parker Kalmbach 2-1 (17-21, 21-17-21, 15-10).
Thirty-two teams per gender will take place in the main draw of the inaugural FIVB U23 World Championships. The main draw starts on June 6 and the tournament runs through until Sunday, June 9 when both the men’s and women’s finals take place.
Myslowice, located 70km outside Poland’s ancient capital Krakow, will host a FIVB age group World Championships for a third time after successfully hosting the U19 and U21 versions in 2006 and 2007.
It has also regularly hosted stops on the FIVB World Tour - the first World Tour competition was a single-gender women’s tournament in 2008, as was the 2011 event. In 2009, 2010 and 2012 it was the men who lit up the courts.
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