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Third round of CEV Continental Cup complete, five countries through to both genders’ finals

The players and coaching staff of Italy celebrate after making the final stage of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup scheduled for next year by topping the charts of their pool in Montpellier, France
Luxembourg, May 10, 2015 – The Third Round of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup came to an end on Sunday following completion of the tournaments held in Lorca, Spain, Montpellier, France, and Limassol, Cyprus. Spain exploited their home advantage to delight the crowd at the World Technical Beach Volleyball Centre in Lorca and claim a spot for the final stage of the competition scheduled for next year with both their men’s and women’s teams.

Italy and the Netherlands did likewise as the pre-tournament favourites topped Pools D and G, respectively. All second and third-placed teams will continue their chase for a spot to compete at next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro via Round 4 later this summer. The fourth-placed sides were eliminated from the competition.

The countries qualified for the final are:

Men: Czech Republic, Norway, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Turkey
Women: Austria, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Switzerland

Beach volleyball powerhouses Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have qualified for the final stage of the competition in both genders.

This weekend Spain gave their opponents no chance in Lorca, with 2013 European champions Pablo Herrera/ Adrian Gavira and 2013 European silver medallists Liliana Fernandez Steiner/ Elsa Baquerizo well supported by their teammates as the hosts swept all of their matches without dropping a set.

The Netherlands did the same in Limassol where they lined up reigning world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen for a clean sweep of their matches. The “Orange” ladies were made to work a little harder by their opponents from Finland but eventually had the upper hand in the golden match with the help of Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist, who claimed their re-match with Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti.

There was a little bit more drama in Montpellier, at least in the men’s competition, where 2014 European champions Paolo Nicolai/ Daniele Lupo of Italy lost to France’s home heroes Yannick Salvetti and Jean-Baptiste Daguerre. Surprisingly, France’s top pair of Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson had to concede a defeat to Alex Ranghieri/ Marco Caminati and once they returned to the sand for the golden match, Nicolai/ Lupo showed no mercy for Daguerre/ Salvetti, bringing Italy the much desired ticket to the finals. Italy’s ladies did not have to fight as hard as they swept France aside 2-0 to claim first place in the final standings of Pool D.

The 16 teams per gender that will now continue their journey in the Continental Cup Fourth Round are:

Men: Austria, Azerbaijan (from Pool A), Russia, Ukraine (Pool B), Switzerland, Belgium (Pool C), France, Slovakia (Pool D), Greece, Belarus (Pool E), Estonia, Lithuania (Pool F), Israel, Finland (Pool G), Latvia, England (Pool H)

Women: Sweden, Azerbaijan (from Pool A), Ukraine, Scotland (Pool B), Norway, Slovenia (Pool C), France, Israel (Pool D), Greece, England (Pool E), Lithuania, Slovakia (Pool F), Finland, Latvia (Pool G), Poland, Belgium (Pool H)

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