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01/06/2017 09:59
San Marino’s Beach Volleyball ‘queens’ en route to gold at GSSE
2017 Games of the Small States of Europe

San Marino, May 31, 2017. The 2017 edition of the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) continued on Wednesday – and this time around San Marino did not have as much to celebrate as they had on Tuesday when the home teams had completed a clean sweep of their respective matches. However, their women’s Beach Volleyball team Pini/Bulgarelli added another two victories to their count and remain in full contention for gold on home sand.

Cyprus beat San Marino in straight sets in the men’s Volleyball tournament (25-19, 25-20, 25-17), thus confirming their status as one of the favourites for the gold medal. The match was literally one-sided and Cyprus used their physical edge and good tactics to prevent the home players from scoring. The Cyprus block did work especially well even though San Marino put up a fight, and somehow succeeded in doing so up until the end of the second set. In the other match of the day, Luxembourg comfortably beat Iceland 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-15) to cement their status as ‘hottest’ candidate for the gold medal together with Cyprus. On Thursday Monaco will play Iceland before Cyprus lock horns with Luxembourg in a match likely to decide who will win gold at the end of the tournament.  

In the women’s Volleyball competition, Iceland beat San Marino 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 20-25, 25-16, 15-7). San Marino caught a slow start to the game, struggling especially with the Icelandic block, before the hosts found their rhythm and seemed en-route to their second straight victory in the tournament. However, after winning the second and third sets, San Marino suffered a big blow as Iceland rallied to an 8-0 lead in the fourth set and this somehow paved the way towards the tiebreak. Iceland continued to play with the same intensity in the fifth set and they eventually sealed a 3-2 victory. In the other matches of the day, Malta beat Liechtenstein 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21) and Cyprus edged Luxembourg 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 22-25, 25-11, 15-13).

Debora Pini and Silvia Bulgarelli were the only Sammarinese team to have something to cheer about on Wednesday as they won both of their matches in the women’s Beach Volleyball event to keep a clean sheet in the tournament. They first beat Monaco’s Magali Muratore/Caroline Revel Chion (21-12, 21-19) and later in the evening they stunned also Luxembourg’s Rebekka Klerf and Carole Grethen 2-0 (21-7, 21-10). The two Sammarinese ladies are ‘only’ two matches away from the gold medal and will play Iceland on Thursday before taking on Malta on Friday.

In the men’s Beach Volleyball competition, San Marino’s Simone Giorgetti/Paolo Paganelli lost 1-2 to Luxembourg’s Christophe Lazzarin/Tom Meres (21-18, 19-21, 12-15). The home heroes seemed to be able to control the match but their opponents found the right solutions to disrupt the game plan of the Sammarinese team. In that same pool, 2015 GSSE gold medallists Andorra beat Montenegro 2-0. Thursday’s programme includes the last few matches from the pool phase, which will determine the eventual semi-finalists.

For further information visit the official website

Click here for a comprehensive gallery of the Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competitions

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