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Russians upset FIVB under-19 world champions in men’s Youth Olympic quarter-finals

Russians Artem Yarzutkin (left) and Oleg Stoyanovskiy celebrate after defeating a Brazilian team in an exciting three-set men's quarter-final match Monday at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Nanjing, China, August 25, 2014 - In one of the most interesting Beach Volleyball matches at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin of Russia overcame their first set mistakes to eliminate reigning FIVB under-19 world champions Arthur Mariano and George Wanderley of Brazil in a men’s quarter-final match here Monday evening.

After trailing throughout the first set with Brazil winning 21-15, Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin totally dominated the second set with a 21-9 advantage.  The Russians controlled the third and deciding set before Arthur and George rallied to tie the match at 11-11 and 12-12 after falling behind at 11-7.

Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin closed out the 41-minute match by scoring the final three points to win the set 15-12 and advance to Wednesday’s medal rounds against Miro Maattanen and Santeri Siren of Finland in an All-European affair.  The other semi-final match will feature two teams from South American as Santiago Aulisi and Leandro Aveiro of Argentina challenging Tigrito Gomez and Peter Hernandez of Venezuela.

“I don’t know what happen in the second set,” said a dejected George after the match with Russian that was played in a light drizzle for a set and a half.  “We played very well in the first set, but the Russians took advantage of our mistakes early in the second set and we could not recover.  We made a great comeback in the third set, but some mistakes at the end that cost of the match.”

Stoyanovskiy (205 cm, 6’9”), who ranks with German Niklas Rudolf (208 cm, 6’10”) as the tallest two players in the competition, said his team “just played better in the second set.  I think getting a big lead at the start of the second set took some fight out of the Brazilians.  But they are world champions, so they never gave up in the third set and made us work very hard to win the match.”

The evening’s final men’s quarter-final match was just as exciting as the first contest of the session as Aulisi and Aveiro outlasted Germans Rudolf and Eric Stadie 2-1 (20-22, 21-18 and 19-17) in 57 minutes, the longest match in the men’s competition.  Rudolf and Stadie took an early advantage in the deciding set before an incredible sequence by the Argentineans tied the final set at 12 to take the momentum out of German’s game.

“We are not the biggest team in the competition,” said the six-foot Aulisi after the match, “but we never quit.  The Germans are very strong and it took a lot of energy and hard work to win the match.  We are really tired now and we are glad to have Tuesday as a rest day.  I don’t think anyone expected us to compete for a medal, and now, we have a chance.”

Rudolf said the Germans “made too many mistakes.  Give the Argentina team a lot of credit.  They never quit and kept coming at us.  We had our chances, but in the end, our mistakes were the difference.  Eric and I are really disappointed with this result.  We really wanted to be playing on the final day for a medal.”

With the men “resting” Tuesday, the women’s “final four” matches will be played with pairs from Brazil, Canada, Germany and Russia vying for spots on the podium at the 2,000-seat Beach Volleyball venue in the Nanjing Sports Park Complex where BMX cycling, field hockey and rugby events were also staged.

In Monday’s first men match, Maattanen and Siren avenged an earlier setback  to Marco Cairus and Mauricio Vieyto in pool play by posting a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21 and 18-16) quarter-final win over the Uruguay pair in a 49-minute match.  Gomez and Hernandez, who placed third earlier this month at the FIVB U19 worlds in Portugal, ousted Sergio Figueroa and Daniel Rivera of Puerto Rico 2-1 (21-11, 14-21 and 15-11) in 43-minutes.


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