Third-seeded Adrian Carambula & Alex Ranghieri of Italy battled it out for two tie-breaker victories on Friday to claim the top of their pool standings and advance directly to Saturday’s men’s quarterfinals of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Ostrava, along with the other three pool winners, Norway’s Anders Mol & Christian Sorum, Sweden’s David Ahman & Jonatan Hellvig and Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner, all from the top four seeds in the main draw bracket. The teams that finished first or second runners-up in the final pool standings will go through an additional elimination round earlier on Saturday to fill the remaining quarterfinal vacancies.
Two tie-breaker wins push Ranghieri & Carambula into Ostrava quarterfinals
Mol & Sorum, Ahman & Hellvig and Perusic & Schweiner also topped their pools unbeaten for direct passage to the last eight
Published 06:07, 02 Jun 2023
Ranghieri & Carambula’s day started with a tough match against the other team that had won their first-leg game in Pool C on Thursday, Poland’s Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak. After exchanged sets, a hard-fought tie-breaker was pushed into overtime before the Italians could celebrate a 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 16-14) victory. Ranghieri excelled with 24 points, including six kill blocks, while Losiak aced four times towards a 23-point tally. In their last match of the pool, the Italians once again had to resort to a third-set resolution against Brazilian qualifiers Renato Lima & Vitor Felipe on the way to a 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-11) win. This time Ranghieri’s serving proved crucial as it added eight aces to his five kill blocks and 17 successful attacks towards a 30-point match high. Losiak & Bryl went on to take the pool runner-up position after a 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) sweep of their last pool match against Czechia’s Krystof Jan Oliva and Tadeas Trousil, in which Bryl impressed with seven kill blocks. Renato & Vitor Felipe finished third after they had already beaten the Czechs by 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-8) in the morning.
Top-seeded Olympic champions Mol & Sorum continued their winning ways in Pool A and topped the table undefeated. On Friday, they finished their job in pool play with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) shutout of American qualifiers Trevor Crabb & Theodore Brunner. In the other third-leg game, Brazil’s Pedro Solberg & Gustavo Carvalhaes (Guto) managed their first win of the tournament, a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) sweep of France’s Youssef Krou & Arnaud Gauthier-Rat, enough to catch the last train to the eighthfinals. The three-way tie between the teams with 1-2 win-loss records was resolved on point ratio in favour of Krou & Gauthier-Rat for the runner-up spot and Pedro Solberg & Guto for the third place, leaving Crabb & Brunner out of contention.
Home favourites Perusic & Schweiner also did an impeccable job in their Pool D, topping the final standings without dropping a single set. In their last match on Friday, the fourth-seeded Czechs hammered out their third shutout in the pool, 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) against US qualifiers Miles Partain & Andrew Benesh, who finished third in the pool to stay alive in the tournament. Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers secured the runner-up position after a 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) win over Marco Grimalt & Esteban Grimalt and sent the Chilean cousins home winless. Ehlers was on fire to collect 23 points in the match, including three blocks and an ace.
Swedish jump-setters Ahman & Hellvig took two victories on Friday to win their Pool B undefeated. Their day started with a narrow 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 17-15) win over Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medallists Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan. While both Qataris reached the 20+ mark in scoring, they also made too many mistakes and the European champions capitalized on it to emerge victorious. Hellvig contributed an impressive six kill blocks towards his team’s success. The Swedes went on to defeat Brazilian qualifiers Evandro Oliveira & Arthur Mariano by a hard-fought 2-0 (21-19, 23-21) in their last match of the pool.
The other three teams were tied on a 1-2 win-loss record after Evandro & Arthur produced a 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-11) upset of Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands, the number three team in the World Ranking, with eight kill blocks from Evandro, but then the Dutch duo overcame the resistance of Cherif & Ahmed to claim a 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 18-16) victory with a 31-point match high from Meeuwsen. The knot was broken by point ratios from the games between the three pairs with the eighthfinal tickets going to the second-placed Qataris and the third-placed Brazilians, leaving Brouwer & Meeuwsen below the red line.