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Austrian pair advance to second round of youth continental cup final

Austrian team celebrates after outplaying the strong Czech team
Antalya, Turkey, May 16, 2014 - Austria survived a three-set battle to win one of the two direct clashes between top-seeded teams in pool play at the men’s 2014 CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Final to book a spot in the second elimination round. 

The teams of Ukraine, Norway, Russia, Poland and Germany also topped their pools to move directly to the crucial final step of qualification for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. 

Pool F proved to be the toughest one out of the six pools in the competition, where two-three set matches occurred during Friday’s program. 

In the first match Lithuania’s Edvinas Vaskelis and Matas Navickas upset the sixth-seeded Czech duo Tomas Cermak and Jiri Kraffer with a 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 15-9) victory. Vaskelis/Navickas then lost to seventh-seeded Austrian pair Paul Buchegger and Moritz Bernd Pristauz-Telsnigg by a landslide 2-0 (21-9, 21-18). 

When the two top seeds locked horns in the last match of the pool, they staged a 55-minute battle – the longest game of the day – that ended in favour of the Austrians 2-1 (21-14, 16-21, 15-10). 

“The first game of today was easy for us because our opponents were not that tall and we locked too many balls,” Austria’s Buchegger commented. “In the second game we played really well. We do not know who we will be playing tomorrow, but there are many good teams so it will be a difficult game. We know most of the teams here from previous tournaments. I believe we can win and qualify for the Youth Olympic Games.” 

“We played really well today, except in the second set of the second match,” Pristauz-Telsnigg said. “I am satisfied with the results. Tomorrow’s game will be difficult for us, but we will stay focused because it is the last decisive game and we definitely want to go to China.” 

The other five winners clearly dominated their pools and made it through to the second round without losing any sets. No. 1 seed Oleh Plotnytskyi and Illia Kovalov from Ukraine, scored victories over Finland and Cyprus to top Pool A. 

Second-seeded Latvians Raimonds Linins and Karlis Kaulins were upset by both opponents in Pool B, allowing the Norwegian tandem of Anders Berntsen Mol and Mathias Berntsen to emerge as pool winners. 

In Pool C, the 2013 U18 European champions Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin from Russia demonstrated their superiority over the teams of Bulgaria and Slovakia. There were no surprises in Pool D either as Poland’s Dominik Kmiecik and Jakub Macura shut out both Spain and Turkey. 

Pool D featured the other clashes between pool winners from last year’s zonal phase, but Germany’s Niklas Rudolf and Eric Stadie were very convincing in beating Italy’s Manuel Alfieri and Paolo Di Silvestre by 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) following a straight sets win over Turkey’s second duo. 

Unfortunately for home fans, the two men’s and two women’s duos of Turkey did not succeed in winning any sets in their pool matches but are certainly hoping to make amends in the second elimination round. 

“We had problems in the pool games because of our lack of experience,” Turkey’s Sencer Urer explained. “If we decrease our unforced errors we can be better. Our goal to go to China is still alive, we can win both matches tomorrow.” 

“We are a new team so that makes everything harder for us,” Urer’s partner Berkecan Bildircin concurred. “ We will be better in time. We want to display a much better performance in the following matches and qualify for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.”


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