Young home heroines to lead Lithuania at CEV Continental Cup in Vilnius
Vilnius, Lithuania, June 26, 2014 - Round 1 of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup is coming to Lithuania this weekend with the Pool F double-gender tournament being hosted at the splendid facilities of the Credit24 Arena in downtown Vilnius. The home teams of Lithuania will be playing pairs from Estonia, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova (men only) and Latvia (women only).
The women’s entry lists are topped by home heroines Monika Povilaityte / Ieva Dumbauskaite, the gold medalists from the 2011 CEV U18 Beach Volleyball European Championship and the FIVB U19 World Championship 2012. The young Lithuanian duo, encouraged by their home fans are expected to show a strong performance against their archrivals from neighboring Latvia. The Latvian team is led by the 2009 European champion Inese Jursone and her young partner Tina Graudina, only 16 years old.
In the men’s competition, the Estonians are considered the favorites. Former U19 world champion Kristo Kollo and his experienced partner Rivo Vesik have recently ended up fifth at the FIVB Anapa Open. Young Lithuanian talents Arnas Rumsevicius /Lukas Kazdailis will also try to please their fans by helping the home country qualify directly for the third round. These players returned to the sand not so long ago after participating in the first-round qualifications for the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men held in Luxembourg back in May.
CEV Technical Supervisor Bruno Proietto is pleased with the venue preparation. “The arena is in a beautiful place in the very center of Vilnius, surrounded by the river,” he comments. “The place looks busy and popular among the locals so we expect a lot of fans coming to watch the tournament and support their teams. Currently the courts are being prepared for the event and I think they will be ready on time. The weather conditions are not bad although it is not too warm now. I really hope we will not have any rain on the weekend.”
The President of the Lithuanian Volleyball Federation Marius Vasiliauskas was pleased to have the opportunity to host the first round of the Continental Cup. “It is an honor for us to arrange such an important international tournament in Lithuania. We have experience in hosting EEVZA zonal events, but the CEV Continental Cup is something we have never had here before,” he said.
The winners and the runners-up of the Pool F will qualify for Round 3, while the other two teams per gender will get a second chance to move forward in the competition by participating in Round 2 to be played in August / September 2014.