Aydin, Turkey, May 19 2018 – Italy’s Silvia Costantini and Agata Zuccarelli caused a major upset on Friday at the Aydin one-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour as they beat Turkey’s Bugra Eryildiz and Aleyna Vence, European Snow Volleyball Tour winners from earlier this year, to provide the real highlight of the day in the women’s tournament.
In this Pool D first-leg encounter, fourth-seeded home stars Eryildiz and Vence had the crowd behind them all the way from start to end as they were trying to secure Turkey’s first win in the tournament. However, they lost the first set 21-13 before they fought back to lead 10-4 in the second, ultimately securing a 21-16 win. The tie-break was some kind of an early final – such was the ambiance. It was a very close fight, but the Italians silenced the Turkish fans as they celebrated a 15-13 win.
The Turkish pair will now have to face another Italian team, Claudia Puccinelli and Gaia Traballi, in the pool’s battle for survival on Saturday, while Costantini and Zuccarelli will race Panagiota Karagkouni and Aliki Alexandra Spiliotopoulou for the first place in the pool standings. The Greeks secured a 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) win over Puccinelli and Traballi.
Friday’s main draw programme started with top-seeded Russians Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Mastikova storming to a 2-0 (21-10, 21-9) victory over Turkey’s Tugba Ozdemir and Ebru Karayilan. In the other Pool A fixture, Sweden’s Sofia Ogren and Camilla Nilsson recorded a similarly compelling victory, 2-0 (21-10, 21-13) over Maria Tsopoulou and Dimitra Manavi of Greece.
Cuba’s Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega and Mailen Deliz Tamayo, seeded second, started their Pool B campaign with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-16) win over Turkey’s Muge Ocakci and Merve Celebi. The Thurin twins, Susanna and Kristina, claimed a hard-fought 2-1 (21-18, 12-21, 16-14) victory in the Swedish derby with Tadva Yoken and Sigrid Simonsson.
“We are not used to this kind of heat and it affected us,” Susanna Thurin commented. “To play such a long game under these conditions is even more difficult. We love the city and especially the fans coming to cheer all teams on. If we find our rhythm, I think we can make it further in this tournament.”
Third-seeded Norwegians Victoria Faye Kjolberg and Ane Guro Tveit Hjortland did not leave too many chances to another Turkish team, as they beat Merve Nezir and Selin Yurtsever 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) in Pool C. After making it through Thursday’s qualification, Denmark’s Line Trans Hansen and Maria Elisabeth Tyndeskov beat Austria’s Nadine Strauss and Franziska Friedl 2-0 (21-18, 21-19).