19/08/2017 11:32
Glenzke/Grossner dethrone Ludwig/Walkenhorst after drama-filled tiebreak
2017 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship - Final

Jurmala, Latvia, August 19, 2017. Nadja Glenzke and Julia Grossner caused the first major sensation of this year’s #EuroBeachVolley as they ended the triumphal march of their compatriots Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst after a truly dramatic match, which opened the programme of the women’s quarterfinals on Saturday morning on Majori beach in Jurmala. Glenzke and Grossner cancelled a number of match points for their opponents before they could eventually celebrate a hard-fought 2-1 victory (17-21, 21-14, 19-17) over the reigning Olympic, world and now dethroned European champions.

On Friday afternoon, Glenzke and Grossner had emerged victorious from a similar situation in the matchup with another German team, Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch, but Saturday’s victory is by far the most remarkable result they have achieved in their still young partnership – since they have been playing together since earlier this season only.

Glenzke and Grossner claimed a 14-12 lead in the first set and seemed to be in control before Ludwig and Walkenhorst produced an impressive 7-0 run, which ultimately determined the outcome of the first set (21-17). However, the course of the game changed dramatically in the second set where Ludwig and Walkenhorst struggled to find their rhythm – whilst Glenzke and Grossner scored point after point to rally to a comprehensive 21-14 win.

However, the real drama was yet to come – Glenzke/Grossner were off to a flying start in the tiebreak and rushed to 10-5 lead, which prompted a medical timeout by the opposition. Kira Walkenhorst was evidently struggling with a shoulder injury but once she resumed playing, she scored two aces and helped her side close in – with the tie following at 11-all. The remainder of the tiebreak was filled with drama and many expected Ludwig/Walkenhorst would confirm that true champions rise to the occasion when it matters the most. They did so – and were only one point away from progressing to the semis, before Glenzke/Grossner showed nerves of steel and much composure to seal their victory at 19-17 after previously failing to capitalise on a few match points too.

“After cashing that final match point, we couldn’t believe that it actually happened,” an obviously elated Glenzke said. “I still cannot believe it, but it is a great feeling right now. At the World Championships in Vienna, we played them in the pool and it was also very close in the tiebreak, but now we showed we could win against the reigning Olympic and world champions, so I am obviously over the moon.”

The medical timeout requested by Ludwig and Walkenhorst probably disrupted their run in the tiebreak. “These five minutes of break are very hard to deal with since you need to find a way to keep your focus and not to lose momentum when you are back on court,” Glenzke commented. “We also knew that once they are back after the medical break, they would give all they have to win this match and would put even more pressure on us. The tiebreak showed that both sides did not want to give up and we continued to cancel each other’s match points. It was a tough fight.”

After edging such an opponent, Glenzke and Grossner will now set their sights on winning the gold medal on Sunday – with Grossner hoping to improve on the bronze she won at last year’s Jurmala Masters together with former partner Victoria Bieneck.

Glenzke and Grossner’s next opponent in the semis will be Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Jagoda Gruszczynska – who beat Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova and Nadezda Makroguzova 21-10, 24-22 in Saturday’s second quarterfinal.

“Always, always when you win the first set so easily, later in the second it becomes tougher and you have to motivate yourself twice as much as before,” Kolosinska said after the match. “It’s difficult to play such a bad set as they did and such a good set as we did for a second time, but we managed to keep our focus and followed the tactics that we had prepared for today. We are happy we reached the semi-final.” 

After their sensational victory on Saturday morning, Glenzke and Grossner did not hide that they are now going for gold but Gruszczynska has the same goal: “We are also here thinking about the gold medal so we won’t give in easily (laughing).”

On Latvian fans, who showed their support and created Polish flags out of Latvian ones, Gruszczynska had a few words to say as well. “Actually, we did not see these flags and we are pleasantly surprised that the support from the audience splits more equally between home and non-Latvian teams. It is nice to see how many people come in to watch the #EuroBeachVolley and we can definitely feel this great atmosphere and their appreciation when we play. It only fires us up to keep playing the best we can.”

Click here for further information

News nr. 6 of 25
19/08/2017 15:11:00
#EuroBeachVolley reaches global audience, CEV channels to stream finals!
18/08/2017 17:33:00
Team Moiseeva/Syrtseva introduce their ‘special’ coach

Advanced Search
Open the calendar popup.
Open the calendar popup.

There are no matches appointed for today

CEV Beach Volley Social Media