Williams and Stochlova make it to the semis in Ljubljana


The Czech Republic’s Martina Williams and Marie-Sara Stochlova are among the semifinalists of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour one-star event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which will come to an end on Sunday at Pogacar Square.

The 30-year-old Williams and the 22-year-old Stochlova reached the semifinals of the women’s tournament in Ljubljana with their third-straight win. The second-seeded Czechs, who are yet to drop a set in the event, defeated Denmark’s Sofia Bisgaard and Clara Windeleff 2-0 (21-19, 27-25).

Their opponents will be Belgian qualifiers Sarah Cools and Lisa van den Vonder, the only team in the final four to have won a pair of matches on Saturday. The Belgians started the day in the Round of 12, where they downed Israel’s Anita Dave and Sofia Starikov in two sets (21-12, 21-13), before upsetting New Zealand’s Shaunna Polley and Alice Zeimann in three (21-11, 19-21, 15-8) in the quarterfinals.

Bianchin attempts a dig in the match against the Austrians

The other semifinal will reunite Italy’s Margherita Bianchin/Claudia Scampoli and the Netherlands’ Emi van Driel/Mexime van Driel. The top-seeded Italians eliminated Austrians Franziska Friedl and Eva Pfeffer in two sets (25-23, 21-17) while the third-seeded Dutch sister prevailed against another team from Austria, Viktoria Fink and Eva Freibeiger, also in two sets (21-9, 21-18). 

The men’s semifinals will also have teams from four different countries. Lithuania’s Audrius Knasas/Patrikas Stankevicius are one, after the duo eliminated Poland’s Pawel Lewandowski and Jakub Zdybek in the quarterfinals with a two-set (21-17, 21-18) victory.

Their semifinal opponents will be Serbians Lazar Kolaric and Milos Milic, who made it to the semifinal after they knocked Italians Gianluca Dal Corso and Tobia Marchetto out of the tournament with a 2-0 (23-21, 21-13) quarterfinal win. 

Milic goes on his knees to pass the ball

The host country will be represented in the semifinals by Rok Brakco and Alan Kosenina, who defeated the Czech Republic’s Jan Dumek/Matyas Dzavoronok in three sets (21-18, 18-21, 15-12) to advance. They will face Swedish Martin Appelgren and Alexander Hermann, who eliminated the last non-European team standing in the tournament, Americans Michael Boag and Tim Brewster, with a straight-set (21-19, 21-17) victory.

The semifinals and the medal matches of the tournament in Ljubljana will be streamed live on the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) YouTube channel.

Quick links:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Ljubljana
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020


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