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Germany’s Schneider/Arnholdt knock out last year’s silver medallist to reach the final four

Germany's Lisa Arnholdt (left) and Sarah Schneider reached the U19 semifinals
Porto, Portugal, August 2, 2014 - Sarah Schneider and Lisa Arnholdt put down their mark at the FIVB U19 World Championships on Saturday. The German girls knocked out last year’s silver medallist Nadezda Makroguzova and her new partner Daria Rudykh to advance into the semifinals.

Especially Schneider was very happy with the 2-1 (12-21, 21-14, 15-8) win over the Russian team.

“It feels so amazing. Last year I played Makroguzova in the semifinal and we won the first set and we had three match points, but were not able to win. This was revenge. I am so happy that I am crying and that’s not normal for me.”

The Russians started out serving really strong. Rudykh hit at least three aces and the Germans had big problems in reception. “In the first set the wind was so tough and we could not control it”, Schneider said.

But in the second the Germans came back serving equally strong. After levelling the score they took a 4-0 lead in the tiebreak and held on to that. At 14-8, at their first match point, the semifinal was theirs when Makroguzova hit the ball out.

“I think we won because we stuck together. It’s so emotional, it’s amazing, I can’t find the words for it”, said Schneider about their amazing comeback.

“I think in the first set we were a bit nervous”, added Arnholdt. “We could not play our own game. I don’t know the exact reason. I am just so happy everything worked in the second and third set.”

Since both teams qualified for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing it was also good to see how they were doing compared to other possible medal contenders. “This is only our third tournament together and it we are already playing so well”, concluded Schneider.

Canada pushed hard by USA

In the semifinal on Sunday the Germans meet Megan and Nicole McNamara, who defeated USA’s Susannah Muno and Christian Jones 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-12) in the quarterfinals and Dutch team Stubbe/Wouters also 2-1 (21-19, 12-21, 15-12).

It was a tight match against USA. Both teams showed great fighting spirit, but in the end the Canadian twins were more focussed and in control. “It’s such an amazing feeling”, said Megan, who will play her first ever FIVB final alongside her sister.

“They are really a strong team and we had to play our best to win against them”, said Nicole. “Overall it was a really tight game but I’m glad we won.

About the semi against Germany she said. “All the teams are very strong so we are going to have to play really well but we’re going to go for it and a podium finish would be great so we’ll battle for it.”


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