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Snow volleyball tournament in Austria attracts diverse participation

Snow volleyball professional athletes with Vladimir Grbic (right)
Lausanne, Switzerland, March 24, 2017 – After the successful three-day FIVB Volleyball Your Way Snow Festival, the snow volleyball marathon continues with a professional tournament for men and women on the spectacular Alpine slopes of Wagrain-Kleinar in Austria from March 25-26.

Professionals from as many as 11 nations will take their turn on the snow courts at the strong international Snow Volleyball Goes Europe event, in front of distinguished FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, who arrived in the Austrian Alps to attend the event.

The event has a diverse list of participants from countries such as Uruguay, England and Northern Island, which will be joining the ranks of the sport for the first time. The other eight countries that will be represented on Austrian snow are Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and hosts Austria.

Current European snow volleyball ranking leaders and top seeds Anna Dostalova/Michaela Knoblochova of Czech Republic lead the women’s draw, where a total of 10 pairs have registered in chase of the medals in Wagrain-Kleinarl. Germany’s top-ranked player Tiana Nicolaus and partner Valeska Kasimir are seeded second.

“We will see how it goes – one game after the other,” Tiana Nicolaus said. “All participating teams are great. We are totally looking forward to playing against them. I have no idea what is going to happen because snow is not very predictable. We will just give our best and see where we end up. The most important thing is to have a of fun and enjoy the snow and the people.”

Last year’s snow volleyball first-timers from Ireland, Ernesta Gruzdaite/Ivett Simon-Byrne kept their promise to come back and bring more compatriots with them. Gruzdaite/Simon-Byrne are now joined in the competition by another women’s pair and one pair from their country. 

Meanwhile, 23 duos will vie for the top spot in the men’s tournament, led by top seeds Michal Matyja/Piotr Janiak of Czech Republic. Their compatriots and winners of the snow volleyball tour in Kranjska Gora, Piotr Groszek/Tomasz Cwiertnia, are seeded second, followed by the third seeded Tadej Bozenk/Danijel Pokersnik of Slovenia.

Austria’s snow volleyball standout Florian Schnetzer has teamed-up with Germany’s Paul Becker to form one of the international mixed duos in the competition.

Vladimir Grbic, who is one of the most distinguished guest of the snow volleyball week in Austria, best sums up the significance of the tournament.

“I believe the professional competition this weekend is going to be at the highest level.”

President Graça likewise puts his trust and confidence on the level of the event, but jested “the players are lucky because I am not going to play.”


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