Pre-favourites secure semi-final spots at final stop of European Tour
St. Anton, Austria, April 13, 2019. Russia 2 with Vsevolod Bobrikov, Vladislav Mikhalev, Vadim Smorchkov and reigning European champion Ruslan Daianov became the first men’s team to qualify for the semi-finals at the last stop of the CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour 2019 in St. Anton. The team of Piotr Groszek, Karol Szczepanik and Marcin Konpa from Poland has also secured a spot among the top four of the competition held in the Austrian Alps.
The Polish team started their campaign with a 2-1 (15-12, 12-15, 15-11) victory over Germany 2. After that, they played Italy 2 and they stormed to a comprehensive 2-0 (15-12, 15-10) victory. The team of Russia 2 began their journey in the second round against Slovenia and they did so with a 2-1 win (18-20, 15-8, 15-12). In the third round, the favourites won against Italy 1, once again doing so in three sets (15-8, 13-15, 15-8).
“This is our first time in St. Anton am Arlberg. The conditions are fine and fun,” commented Ruslan Daianov after qualifying for the semis. “The organisers put in a lot of effort to make us feel comfortable. It is a very good tournament and we look forward to the games tomorrow. I hope we have nice and sunny weather again and it will be a perfect way to finish this season’s European Tour.” Daianov won last year’s inaugural European Championship with Taras Myskiv – and earlier this season secured first place at the Turkish stop of the European Tour competing along with Myskiv and Aleksandr Kramarenko.
The other two pairs to play in the semis will emerge after the last two rounds of the losers’ bracket finish on Sunday morning. Still in contention are Slovenia, Russia1, Italy 1 and Italy 2.
In the women’s competition, Slovakia and Russia booked the first two spots in the semis. Silvia Poszmikova, Jana Zyani Rusnakova and Ivona Brondosova represent Slovakia while Motrich, Romashova, Kozhadey and Lapteva are the members of a very strong Russian team. Both teams scored two clear 2-0 victories on Saturday against their respective opponents. Russia beat Turkey in a 44-minute match (20-18, 19-17) to progress to the semis and Slovakia won against the home team of Austria 2 (15-12, 15-5).
Earlier in the competition, Russia won against Norway (15-12, 15-12) and Slovakia sent Czech Republic 2 into the losers’ bracket with a 2-0 victory (17-15, 15-6).
Still keeping the chances for a spot in the semis are Czech Republic 1 and Czech Republic 2. They will face Austria 2 and Turkey in Sunday’s early matches on the centre court at the mountain station of the Rendlbahn, which lies at an altitude of 2,030 m above sea level.
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Information by cev.eu