With teams from eight different countries represented, the quarterfinals of the men’s tournament of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour one-star event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, were set on Friday, the first day of the main draw.
The four pool winners – Poland’s Pawel Lewandowski/Jakub Zdybek, Slovenia’s Rok Bracko/Alan Kosenina, Serbia’s Lazar Kolaric/Milos Milic and Sweden’s Martin Appelgren/Alexander Hermann – will be faced with four duos who advanced from the Round of 16 when competition resumes at the Pogacar Square on Saturday.
The home team of Bracko and Kosenina dominated Pool B, where they defeated both Czech Republic’s Vaclav Bercik/Tomas Semerad (21-12, 18-21, 15-11) and USA’s Michael Boag/Tim Brewster (18-21, 21-19, 15-10) in three sets. They will now face the Czech Republic’s Jan Dumek/Matyas Dzavoronok.
Third-seeded Kolaric and Milic had a strong start to the tournament, defeating Slovenia’s Tadej Bozenk/Jernej Potocnik 2-0 (21-10, 21-17) and Dumek and Dzavoronok 2-1 (21-16, 26-28, 15-13) in Pool C. They will now play Italian qualifiers Gianluca Dal Corso and Tobia Marchetto.
Pool A winners were qualifiers Lewandowski and Zdybek, who started their main draw campaign with a straight-set (21-18, 21-18) victory against the home team of Jan Pokersnik/Nejc Zemljac and followed it up with a tie-breaker (24-22, 18-21, 15-11) win over Dal Corso and Marchetto. Their quarterfinal opponents will be Lithuania’s Audrius Knasas/Patrikas Stankevicius.
Also coming from the qualifier, Appelgren and Hermann won Pool D with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) triumph against Hungary’s Artur Hajos/Botond Olah and a 2-1 (21-15, 13-21, 15-13) win over Slovenia’s Crtomir Bosnjak/Danijel Pokersnik. Boag and Brewster will be their next rivals.
On the women’s side, the four pool winners – Italy’s Margherita Bianchin/Claudia Scampoli, Czech Republic’s Martina Williams/Marie-Sara Stochlova, the Netherlands’ Emi van Driel/Mexime van Driel and New Zealand’s Shaunna Polley/Alice Zeimann – went undefeated on the first day of the main draw and were the first to secure their spots in the Round of 16.
The Italians won Pool A with a straight-set (21-11, 21-11) victory over Slovenia’s Nika Bevc/Nika Hrovat and a 2-1 (19-21 21-16, 18-16) win against Denmark’s Sofia Bisgaard/Clara Windeleff. They will play either Austria’s Franziska Friedl/Eva Pfeffer or Latvia’s Anete Namike/Krista Paegle.
The Czechs finished on top of Pool B after two-set victories against Slovenia’s Tajda Lovsin/Lana Zusek (21-12, 21-12) and Frield/Pfeffer (21-14, 21-11). Their quarterfinal opponents will be either Bisgaard/Windeleff or Canada’s Alina Dormann/Amanda Harnett.
The Dutch sisters dominated Pool C as they downed Slovenia’s Tjasa Jancar/Klara Kegar in two sets (21-14, 21-16) and repeated the straight-set victory (21-10, 21-15) over Israel’s Anita Dave/Sofia Starikov. They will play either Austria’s Viktoria Fink/Eva Freiberger or USA’s Aurora Davis/Kimberly Hildreth next.
The Kiwis topped Pool D after winning a three-setter (21-23, 21-17, 15-10) against Dormann and Harnett and prevailing in a two-set (21-14, 21-17) match against Fink and Freiberger.They now wait for the Round of 12 match between Dave/Starikov and Belgium’s Sarah Cools/Lisa van den Vonder to know their next rivals.
The medal matches for both genders will be played on Sunday. The tournament is being streamed live at beachvolleyljubljana.com.