18/08/2017 16:03
Germany still on a roll as Latvian underdogs exceed expectations
2017 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship - Final

Jurmala, Latvia, August 18, 2017. Germany remain the major force to reckon with in the women’s competition of the 2017 #EuroBeachVolley Final in Jurmala – with three of their teams progressing to the quarterfinals and one failing to achieve that same feat only because they lost a ‘derby’ with an opponent from that same country. Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst (pictured) are still in contention for a third straight European crown – but Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude look more than determined to repeat their gold medal performance from last year’s Jurmala Masters.

Ludwig/Walkenhorst secured a spot among the top eight of the tournament after a 22-20, 21-15 victory over Jolien Sinnema and Joy Stubbe of the Netherlands. The reigning Olympic, world and European champions have not displayed their best form yet – they dropped two sets in their pool matches earlier this week – but they seem to be getting better and better with each match they contest.

Laboureur/Sude, on the other hand, have compiled four straight 2-0 wins in the tournament so far – three in the pool phase and another one on Friday when easily disposing of another Dutch team, 2014 European champion Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel (21-12, 21-17).

Nadja Glenzke and Julia Grossner are the third German team to have progressed to the quarterfinals – and did so only after a dramatic battle with their compatriots Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch (21-23, 21-15, 17-15), which lasted for almost an hour.

If Germany are living up to everyone’s expectations, Latvia’s Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka have more than exceeded theirs – as well as those of their fans. After three straight wins in their pool, on Friday they secured a top five finish by virtue of their 2-0 victory over Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo and Paula Soria (21-17, 21-19). Latvia have never won a medal from the women’s European Championship since Inese Jursone and Inguna Minusa claimed a historic gold in 2009 in Sochi – and on Saturday Graudina/Kravcenoka will be trying to make it a step closer to such a terrific achievement when playing top-seeded Laboureur/Sude in the quarterfinals.

Beach Volleyball fans can also look forward to another interesting matchup featuring Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova/Ekaterina Birlova and Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska/Jagoda Gruszczynska. These two newly formed teams will battle for a spot in the semis after the Poles prevented a Russian derby in the quarterfinals with their 2-0 victory over Alexandra Moiseeva and Ekaterina Syrtseva.

Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova are carrying the hopes of the Czech Republic in this tournament following the withdrawal of last year’s silver medal winners Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova. Kolocova and Kvapilova needed three sets to edge Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli of Switzerland and they will now play Finland’s Taru Lahti-Liukkonen/Anniina Parkkinen for a spot in the semi-finals.

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News nr. 8 of 25
18/08/2017 17:33:00
Team Moiseeva/Syrtseva introduce their ‘special’ coach
18/08/2017 11:41:00
Rising star Makroguzova sets sights on first ‘major’ medal at elite level

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