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Home team Kolocova/Slukova in final four of Prague Open

Home team Marketa Slukova (left) and Kristyna Slukova made it to the final four in Prague
Prague, Czech Republic, May 24, 2014 – The inaugural women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Prague Open got what it deserved, a home team in the semifinals.

With the support of the huge Czech crowd Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova defeated Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek from Poland (21-16, 21-14) in the quarterfinal on Saturday to reach final four.

“It’s only the second time for us that we make the semifinals on the World Tour and in front of a home crowd, it’s crazy, I can’t believe it”, said Kolocova. Last year they were in the final four at the Berlin Grand Slam, but missed out on the podium.

Earlier on Saturday the Czech pool winners booked a solid 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) win over Russia’s Syrtseva/Moiseeva in the second elimination round.

The quarterfinal against Poland was a rematch of Thursday’s pool game, which had also ended in favour of the Czechs. This time though Kolocova and Slukova had to come from behind in both sets.

“I think Maki was not awake yet”, Kolocova joked. “No, actually we always have to find our rhythm first. We are not a team that can kill from the beginning, we first try to find out how they will defend us, what they do, how to serve.”

In the second set the 26-year old defence player served strong and led her team from 17-14 to 19-14. Slukova’s block then took the game to match point and Kolosinska’s wild hit brought the Czechs the victory.

The Czech fans in the Stvanice stadium went wild. Kolocova: “We love it, we both do. In the first game in the pool it was a bit stressy because we did not know what to expect, but since then we are just so happy to have the whole crowd behind us. They are helping a lot. We enjoy it and we really feel the support.”

Sunday they will face Austria’s Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger in the semifinal. The Czechs lead the head-to-head 5-3. “It’s always a tricky game against them. We are good friends and actually trained with them two weeks ago in Austria. It’s always tough, but it’s semifinals, we will try our best and see what we make of it.”

Schwaigers knock out vice-world champions

After a 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) win over Russia’s Ukolova/Prokopeva the Schwaiger-sisters had a tough quarterfinal match against Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Büthe (17-21, 21-19, 15-12).

The Prague Open was the Austrian’s first event since Doris injured her groin in October. “This was a really big surprise for us”, Stefanie said about reaching the final four. ”Also because they are the vice-world champions and a very strong team.”

“We changed tactics after we lost the first set, because we did not have a good defence. We served a bit better and made less mistakes.” The Germans, who have not been in a final four since they claimed silver at the World Championships last July, lost their focus and were not able to break through the Austrian defence anymore.

Germany vs. Germany

In the other, all-German, semifinal Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst will meet Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler for the fifth time in two years. Shanghai champions Ludwig and Walkenhorst won all previous encounters.

Ludwig and Walkenhorst defeated Austria’s Schützenhöfer/Plesiutschnig in the second round (21-17, 21-15), before they faced Canada’s Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan in the quarterfinal.

The 9th seeded Canadians, who surprisingly knocked out China’s Xue/Xia earlier, were no match for the Germans. Ludwig and Walkenhorst put the pressure on from the start and within 25 minutes 21-11, 21-8 appeared on the scoreboard.

“We were really focussed, we served really good and had good block-defence strategy. So they did not have that many options”, said Ludwig.

Holtwick/Semmer beat Antonelli/Juliana

But their semifinal opponents also showed form by defeating Brazilian stars Maria Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta in the quarterfinal (21-12, 24-22).

“In the first set, it was a really a great game. We wrecked them a lot, especially with our serve,” Holtwick said.

The second part was much closer. Brazil even had a set point at 22-21, but the Germans pulled through and finished the game at their third match point.

“We knew they would come strong in the second and they did. So it was a tough fight, but if you believe in yourself, your serve and in your partner, at the end everything works out.”


FIVB Prague Open Tournament Page

FIVB Prague Open Main Draw

FIVB Prague Open Pool Standings

FIVB Prague Open Qualification

FIVB World Tour Twitter Account



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