Schümann and Stork back in business in Myslowice after a year of injury
The German team was seeded 15th out of 16 teams in the qualification tournament of the Polish age-group event on Tuesday. But by upsetting 2nd seeded Latvians Haralds/Armands (23-21, 16-21, 15-13) and 10th seeded Ukrainians Kravets/Denysenko (21-19, 21-13) they were one of the four teams advancing to main draw.
Schümann and Stork, both 22 years old, won bronze at the Youth World Championships in 2010 and at the CEV U20 in 2011. Stork also won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in 2012 with a different partner, but after that it went quiet.
“Last year we were both hurt”, explained Schümann. “I had an injury to the finger and he was sick.” Stork had a virus that kept him out for most of the season. It did not show on court on Tuesday, both players alternating spectacular digs with powerful attacks.
In Slupna Park in Myslowice they came back strong, upsetting the 2nd seeded Haralds Regza and Abolins Armands. Schümann: “It was a really tough match, we knew them from the semifinal at the CEV U20. Both our teams normally belong in main draw.”
“I think we were stronger mentally”, Stork said. “Personally I had a really tough game. It was really hot and the first set went into 23-21 and in the second one I had a total crash. And it was really tighed up in the end: 15-13.”
Their second opponents of the day had a lucky break in the morning, because the other team forfeited. Schümann: ”But maybe it was also an advantage for us, because we had the feeling of winning a match. For them it was the first match and they were really anxious.”
Top seeded Norway
Norway’s Andreas Takvam and Runar Torsvik Sannarnes lived up to the expectations as top seeded team in qualification. The silver medallists of the 2011 Youth World Championships booked two straight wins to advance to main draw.
After a 2-0 (24-22, 21-16) win over USA’s Paulin/McCoy they also defeated Danish team Overgaard/Abell 21-18, 21-18.
In the first set against Denmark the Norwegian team took a lead from 16-11, but in the second it was point by point till 16-16. On their second match point Sannarnes scored the winning point with a smart attack down the line.
The heat, it was over 30 degrees Celsius, got to tall blocker Takvama after the match, but Sannarnes, son of former volleyball international Jan Gaute Sannarnes, had some energy left to talk about qualification. “We played two good teams, USA and Denmark. It was very warm and we had to keep pushing each other all the game. So it was very tough out there.”
The Norwegians play a very attractive game, with lots of overhead setting and fast attacks through the middle. Sannarnes: “He is a middle player indoor and I am a setter. We have been playing together since we began playing volleyball. So we do a lot of middle attacks.”
The 21-year old Takvam will return to Poland this winter. “He just got a contract in Poland, so he plays in Poland this winter and we play beach in the summer, because where we live there is no indoor beach volleyball in the winter.”
About their chances the 20-year old Sannarnes said: “The U23 is a real high level, highest in our age-group. We are a bit younger and hope to get some experience in main draw and play as good as we can.”
The other two teams to advance to main draw pool play are Russia’s 6th seeded Firsov/Zhirkov and 5th seeded Buivids/Reinis from Latvia. A total of 36 teams, 6 pools of 6 teams each, from all five continents start in main draw on Wednesday.