Lithuania crush Turkish hopes as men’s second round shapes up
Antalya, Turkey, May 17, 2014 - The home teams of Turkey finally managed to win one set in the men’s 2014 CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Final, but the Lithuanian team still won the three-setter against Burhan Zorluer and Mehmet Rifat Kantarcioglu crushing thes hosts’ hopes for success in the men’s tournament.
Lithuania’s Edvinas Vaskelis and Matas Navickas convincingly took the first set by a landslide, but the home team got were inspired by the support from the stands, as they forced the Lithuanians to play the tiebreaker set. Vaskevis/Navickas once again dominated on the hot Antalya sand to finish the match off at 2-1 (21-11, 17-21, 15-6).
“This elimination game was really hard for us,” Navickas admitted. “We made many mistakes. I think we can win in the second round and qualify for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games but we have to play better.”
“Our performance was not that good,” partner Edvinas Vaskelis added. “We failed in blocking and passing. Our attacking was not too good either. We do not know what will happen in the second round but we know that we have to win one more game.”
The other Turkish team also performed well on the neighbouring court, Sencer Urer and Berkecan Bildircin played a very competitive first set against Bulgaria’s Ivailo Ivanov and Dimitar Kalchev.
Urer/Bildircin missed out on several set points before Ivanov finished it off well into extra time with an off-the-net ace for 27-25. With the psychological advantage also in their hands, the Bulgarians dominated the second set at 21-13 and qualify for the decisive second round.
France’s Arnaud Loiseau and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat shut out Slovakia’s Jakub Ihnat and Marek Meciar 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) on their way to a second round encounter with Austria.
The second session of matches of the men’s first elimination round also offered some thrilling action. Cyprus' youngsters came very close to prolonging the intensity they started in last year’s zonal phase. In the third set against Spain’s Hugo Rojas Martínez and Javier Huerta Pastor, Charalampos Zorpis and Georgios Chrysostomou could not convert on a 13-10 lead and dramatically lost 2-1 (21-16, 11-21, 15-17). However, Spain now has the tough task to overcome the 2013 U18 European champions from Russia in the second round.
Fifth-seeded Italians Manuel Alfieri and Paolo Di Silvestre managed a fantastic comeback to win the second set against second-seeded Latvians Raimonds Linins and Karlis Kaulins. In the conclusive moments of the tiebreaker, Latvia proved far too strong and won the match 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-11). Latvia will lock horns with Poland for a ticket to Nanjing.
Finland’s Miro Maattanen and Santeri Siren were more convincing against the sixth seeds from the Czech Republic, Tomas Cermak and Jiri Kraffer, to knock them out in a 31-minute match at 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) and have a little more time to prepare for their decisive battle with Norway.