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Lucky losers from Lithuania happy with second chance at the U19 in Porto

The 15-year old Marius Barauskis is the youngest player at the U19 World Championships
Porto, Portugal, July 30, 2014 - Initially Lituania’s Marius Barauskis thought his international debut at the FIVB U19 World Championships would only last one day since he and Edgaras Bartkus were eliminated in the final round of the qualification tournament. But Tuesday evening it became clear that they would get a second chance in Porto as lucky losers.

The 15-year old Barauskis feels like a kid in a candy store. He is officially the youngest player at the U19 World Championships and is really looking forward to at least three more days of beach volleyball.

“It’s a good experience for me, for my play in the future”, Barauskis said. “Playing against these other teams is good for me. I can learn a lot and it will make me grow as a player.”

“In our first match I was really stressed. I was very nervous”, he continued. “This is my first ever tournament. But we won that first match. After that our second was terrible and we lost to Australia.”

On Wednesday morning they lost to Puerto Rico’s Daniel Rivera and Ricardo Padilla Rivera (22-20, 21-17) as well, but they were not unhappy afterwards. They even had some chances to win the first set. “Today we are playing better”, said defence player Barauskis.

“Our goal was to complete qualification. Now we really don’t have a goal. We don’t have to win, we just want to play. We are actually preparing for the European U18 in Norway.”

The 15-year old started playing beach volleyball two years ago, but has been playing indoor for five years. He plays beach only in the summer. “This tournament is the start of my international beach career”, Barauskis said. “I would like to become a professional beach volleyball player.”

Lithuania does not have a lot of beach volleyball players, the most successful pair at the moment are 19-year old Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte who won silver last week at the U21 World Championships.

“It’s a small country, there are not a lot of beach volleyball players. We only have two other teams to practice with. My heroes are my father, who was a national player indoor and beach, and my coaches.”

“I would prefer a career in beach volleyball. That is how I think about it now. In indoor you just set or just attack or receive and in beach you can do all of that.”

For the rest of the week Barauskis just wants to absorb as much beach volleyball as he can. “I don’t expect anything, I just came here to play. We have four matches left in the pool. We just want to try to learn something from the other players.”

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