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Plavins and Solovejs upset defending champs in Fuzhou

Aleksandrs Solovejs is full of emotion following Latvia's epic three set win over defending champions Philip Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal

Fuzhou, China, April 23, 2014 - Martins Plavins with new partner Aleksandrs Solovejs came from one set down to beat defending champions Philip Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal from USA in men's Main Draw pool play at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open on Wednesday.


After defeating Sebastian Chevallier and Alexei Prawdzic of Switzerland 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) in the morning, Plavins and Solovejs, the 18th seeds in the Main Draw, outclassed defending champions and second seeds Dalhausser and Rosenthal 2-1 (17-21, 21-10, 15-12) in their second Pool B match.


"I can't believe that we won, because in my opinion, they (Dalhausser/Rosenthal) are one of the best teams in the world. For us, it's a big surprise that we won," said Plavins.


In one of the most eye-catching matches of the day, Plavins and Solovejs made two mistakes in reception midway through the first set before Dalhausser and Rosenthal took it at 21-17.


After winning the second set, Solovejs, only in his sixth FIVB event, grew in confidence and unleashed a string of powerful shots as they nosed ahead 8-6 in the deciding set. In the end it was again Solovejs who secured the victory with a powerful spike.


"We played very well, especially my partner, Aleksandrs. In the morning (against Chevallier/Prawdzic) he had a lot of mistakes, but in the afternoon, he was more concentrated, he played really well," said Plavins.


"It means a lot for him because I think he will believe in himself and then we can achieve more success in the future."


Earlier in the morning, Dalhausser and Rosenthal, who are seeking to win the Fuzhou Open for the second straight year, overcame an early scare to beat China's new pairing Yang Cong and Bao Jian 2-0 (23-21, 21-11) in their first Pool B match.


Yang and Bao put up a spirited fight in a roughly balanced first set. The Chinese pair procured two set points but squandered both of them and when Yang gifted the USA a set point by sending the ball long, Dalhausser needed no second invitation to take the set with a block on Yang. In the second set the Chinese twosome could not recharge as Dalhausser and Rosenthal eased to victory.


"The first set was very tight. They (Yang/Bao) played well. We came in thinking that we would have an easy match, but it wasn't like that, so we have to work harder," said the 33-year-old Dalhausser.


Brazil's Pedro Solberg and Emanuel Rego also set off to a fine start in Fuzhou, winning a pair of matches to top Pool D. The Brazilians edged Ruslans Sorokins and Edvarts Buivids of Latvia 2-0 (21-17, 26-24) in 45 minutes, before overcoming Finn Dittelbach and Eric Koreng of Germany 2-0 (21-13, 22-20) in the afternoon.


Also unbeaten so far in pool play are Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho (Brazil), Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira (Spain), Sam Pedlow/Grant O'Gorman (Canada), Premysl Kubala/Jan Dumek (Czech Republic), Alexey Sidorenko/Alexandr Dyachenko (Kazakhstan), Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar (Brazil), Jon Stiekema/Christiaan Varenhorst (Netherlands) and Alexander Brouwer/Michiel van Dorsten (Netherlands).


Pool matches continue on Thursday, and 32 teams are playing a single round robin in eight groups with top three finishers from each group to advance to the 24-team knock-out stage.


Fuzhou, capital of the Fujian province lies on the southeast coast of Chinese mainland and hosts the Open event for the second straight year.


In addition to the Fuzhou Open, two other stops are scheduled in China in 2014 on the FIVB international schedule: the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam (April 29 to May 4) and the FIVB Xiamen Open (October 7 to 12). All three are double-gender events.


Fuzhou Open Tournament Page

Fuzhou Open Tournament Notes


2014 Beach Volleyball Media Guide



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