German Poniewaz-twins dart into U23 final four
The 20-year old twins defeated Russia’s Andrey Bolgov and Viacheslav Kirienko (15-21, 21-11, 15-13) in the second round and Brazil’s Saymon Barbosa Santos and Marcus Carvalhaes in the quarterfinals (21-18, 23-21).
On paper Brazil was definitely their most difficult opponents, but the Germans were leading throughout the whole first set and finished it at their first set point. In the second it was point-by-point against the much taller Brazilians.
At 19-20 Saymon and Marcus had their first set point, but Saymon served out. Right after that Brazil had another set point at 20-21. Again the Poniewaz-brothers managed to level and at 21-21 David served an ace to claim their first match point. After Brazil hit the ball out the Germans exploded.
It is kind of a signature mark for the outgoing twins; they elaborately celebrate every point. There is a lot of cheering, high fiving and chest bumping going on during their matches. “Celebrating is very important for our game. It’s our way to get energy”, said David Poniewaz.
“It was a really good match. We are so lucky that we won again and now we are in the semifinal, yeah! Me and my brother believed we could win this game and we pushed each other so hard. Our side-outs were very good, and our block-defence. We were on fire. It was great”, said David.
The twins had a slow start in the tournament. “We were not really playing well in the beginning, we needed a lot of games to get into the rhythm. In the beginning of the tournament we were also a little bit nervous. But I think we are a tournament team, from game to game we are getting better.”
The twins, who finished 9th last year at the U23, played only one semifinal before, at the CEV U22, but did not end up on the podium. “So this time, we want a medal”, said David.
In the semifinal they will play Lars Fredrik Tvinde and Hendrik Nikolai Mol. The Norwegians reached the final four with wins over Germany’s Schümann/Stork (21-17, 29-31,16-14) and their fellow countrymen Andreas Takvam and Runar Torsvik Sannarnes (21-17, 14-21, 15-13).
“I think our chances are 50/50. The game starts at 0-0 and then we will see”, said David.
Poland vs. Brazil
To the delight of the home fans the Polish duo Maciej Kosiak and Maciej Rudol also made it to the final four. Kosiak and Rudol will play third seeded Allison Cittadin Francioni and Gustavo Albrecht Carvalhaes from Brazil, who knocked out the first seeded Polish team Bartosz Losiak and Michal Bryl in the quarterfinals (21-15, 21-12).
Kosiak and Rudol had their biggest win in the morning, eliminating second seeds Tobias Winter and Lorenz Petutschnig from Austria, who won bronze last year at the U23. The very tough serving Polish only needed two sets; 25-23, 21-14.
Like in the first game their serving pressure was their most important weapon in the quarterfinal against Edvarts Buivids and Pekmanis Reinis. It prevented the tall Latvians to set up any strong attack. The Polish were leading in both sets and won 2-0 (21-18, 21-16).
Kosiak: “We totally played what we wanted and what the coaches told us before the game. We had some great moments in defence and block, we served really well and I think it was enough for such a team as Latvia.”
Last year Kosiak (21) and Rudol (20), who have been playing together for two years, finished 9th at the U23. But they won bronze at the U21 and the CEV U22 in the same year.
“Before the tournament I said we really wanted to be in the semifinal. And even if we lose this semi, any medal will be a great success for us”, said Kosiak.