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Kolocova and Slukova reach first career final in hometown Prague

Czech team Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova celebrate reaching their first World Tour final
Prague, Czech Republic, May 25, 2014 – With the massive support of the Czech fans Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova reached the final of the women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Prague Open on Sunday. In their first ever gold medal match they will face Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler.

Prague residents Kolocova and Slukova, better known as Kiki and Maki, reached the final with a thrilling 2-1 (16-21 21-16 17-15) win over Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger in the semifinal.

Their best result so far on the World Tour was 4th place at the Berlin Grand Slam last year and a 5th place finish at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“It’s so amazing, I am so happy, our first opportunity to play in Prague and we make the final”, Slukova said. “It’s going to be our first final and actually our first medal as well. Finally!”

The Czech girls, being slow starters, lost the first set to the Schwaiger-sisters. It was their first set loss all week. In the second set the Czech team started serving better, Slukova hit a few aces and Kolocova dug some impossible balls in the back. S

lukova: “After the first set we told each other we had nothing to lose. If we don’t start now, it will be to late. We started to figure out what would work against the Schwaigers.”

From 9-9 they took a lead and held on to that until the end of the set. At 20-16 Slukova’s serve bounced of the arms of Doris Schwaiger and the game went into a tiebreak.

After that it was point-by-point and rally-by-rally, both teams alternating in taking the lead. The Schwaigers had the first match point at 13-14, then the Czechs had one at 15-14 and again at 16-15. Kolocova finally ended the match with a clever ball to the back of the court.

“We finally stuck to the tactic our coach made for us”, Kolocova said. “He will ask us why we waited until the match ball to follow his instructions."

Slukova thanked their hometown crowd. “It was incredible, it’s something you won’t experience anywhere else. They are pushing us and I think we won the third set thanks to them.”

Holtwick/Semmler beat Ludwig Walkenhorst

The first semifinal of the day was not as thrilling as the second. The match between Holtwick and Semmler and their compatriots Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst started ten minutes later because Walkenhorst had a nosebleed and asked for a medical time-out.

The 1,84 meter tall blocker had some discomfort as well with her lower back muscles and did not reach her usual form. Holtwick and Semmler were the better team throughout the match. They did not give the Shanghai champions any opportunity to take a lead. Especially Holtwick had good serving pressure.

In the second part Holtwick and Semmler took a 4-0 lead straight away. Ludwig and Walkenhorst levelled at 11-11, but that was the only time they came close. At 19-17 Holtwick’s serve tipped the net and dropped on the other side of the net. Then she hit another ‘husband and wife’ ace to claim the match: 21-19 21-17.

“It was a big win”, Semmler said. “We had nothing to lose. We had a feeling we could beat them today because we played really good matches yesterday. We served really strong and I think that’s why we won.”

It was the first time they beat Ludwig and Walkenhorst. “It’s amazing and it’s a double win, because we also ended a series of losing against them. We had a kind of bad start this year and it’s a relieve to be in the final here and it means a lot.”

The Prague final is going to be their first final since they finished second in Berlin last year. In total it is their 14th FIVB World Tour final in eight seasons together and they have won one gold, three silver and five bronze medals so far.

Holtwick and Semmler lead the series against Kolocova and Slukova 3-1 in World Tour events. The Czech team will have the support of the crowd though. Semmler said she wouldn’t be bothered by the loud Czech fans. “Better like this than no crowd at all.”

The bronze medal match between Ludwig/Walkenhorst and the Schwaiger-sisters is scheduled for 14.00, followed by the final at 15.00. Like the semifinals the medal matches in the 8,000-seat Stvanice stadium will be broadcasted by the Czech national TV.

The winners of the Prague Open will split $11,000, the silver medallist $8,000, the bronze medallists $6,000 and fourth place if worth $4,500.





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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