London, Great Britain, July 31, 2012 – Seeming to gain momentum as they march along, Brazil’s top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego are quickly becoming lords of the sand after their second pool play match win in two sets Tuesday morning as Day 4 began for the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition.
All the heart-pounding action is being held in the purpose-built, sold-out 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the historic iconic Horse Guards Parade as the majestic venue includes a portion of adjacent St. James Park in historic central London.
With two men’s and two women’s matches each session, Tuesday’s action is featuring the second of three pool play round robin matches with half of the 24 total teams for each gender in action today.
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel, in their first Olympic Games as a team but an inspiring fifth for the venerable Emanuel, shock of whatever lingering affects they might have had from being pushed to three sets for their first win on Sunday, overpowering Switzerland’s 12th-seeded Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher in straight sets, 21-17, 21-12 in just 34 minutes before an adoring multitude in the stadium where they are quickly becoming known as lords of the sand.
Brazil is now a solid 2-0 in their pool heading into their final round-robin match on Thursday, while Switzerland slipped to 0-2. Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel improved to 2-1 in their international series with Switzerland’s Bellaguarda/Heuscher.
In the stat’s department, Brazil’s Alison had one ace serve, eight kills, one block and two digs and his teammate Emanuel recorded one ace as well, along with 13 kills and 11 digs. For Switzerland, Bellaguarda had eight kills and seven digs while Heuscher had 10 kills, two blocks and one dig.
Emanuel said following his team’s second win in London, “Our first match was touch against Austria because we didn’t know their tactics. In Tuesday’s second match we controlled the tempo more. We know about their strategy and we knew how to play against them.”
On the women’s side, a captivating, nail-biting three-set match that closed the morning session saw Brazil’s fifth-seeded Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes battled for every point and it took all they could muster to hold off Germany’s eighth-seeded Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig, 21-19, 29-31 and 15-13 in a crowd-pleasing match that lasted for one hour, six minutes. The second set score and the lengthy of the match are both highs so far for these Olympic Games.
Brazil’s Antonelli/Antunes remain undefeated in pool play at 2-0 while Germany’s Goller/Ludwig slip to 1-1 and in their international series, the Brazilians improved to 3-4 against the German stalwarts.
Statistically speaking, Brazil’s Antonelli recorded two aces, 20 kills and 12 digs while Antunes contributed, 18 kills, six blocks and two digs. For Germany, Goller had three aces, 25 kills, two blocks and six digs and Ludwig had one ace, 18 kills and 11 digs.
Talita breathed a sigh of relief after her team’s lengthy match, saying “I said to Maria ‘just don’t forget what we did in the first set. This is the fifth years that beach volleyball is in the Olympics and the teams are becoming more and more professional. All the teams are really god and it’s hard to win.”
In the first men’s match of the day, Czech Republic’s 14th-seeded Petr Benes/Premysl Kubala were pushed to three sets in coming back to stop Japan’s 23rd-seeded Kentaro Asahi/Katsuhiro Shiratori, 17-21, 21-12 and 15-7 in 45 minutes. The match moved the Czech team to 1-1 while Japan is now 0-2 as the Czech Republic leads the series between the two teams 2-0.
In the first women’s match of the day, Spain’s surprising 16th-seeded Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez moved to 2-0 and pushed Argentina’s 21st-seeded Ana Gallay/Maria Zonta to 0-2 by defeating them 22-20, 21-16 in 40 minutes. It was the first meeting between the two teams.
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