Inspired Indonesia makes World Beach Games men’s semis

 

Indonesia’s Rendy Licardo hits past the double block of Australia

Doha, Qatar, October 14, 2019 – The national team of Indonesia delivered an inspiring performance in the last of four quarterfinals in the beach volleyball 4x4 men’s tournament at the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games, coming from behind to beat Australia and claim the last available spot in Tuesday’s semifinals, against USA. In the other duel for a place in the gold medal match, hosts Qatar will take on Poland. 


Once again enjoying the crowd’s fantastic support from the stands around centre court, Qatar extended their winning streak to four games. In their quarterfinal against Chile, the home team mastered a straight-set 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) victory. The South American side played very well in blocking and put up quite a fight, especially in the second set, but the inspired Qataris were just too strong for them. Cherif Younousse was once again on fire and led the match scorers with 16 points.

Cherif pushes the ball through the Chilean block

The two youngest teams in the tournament, Poland and Germany, were expected to put on a fierce all-European battle in the quarterfinal clash between them, but the Polish teenagers established complete domination on the sand and cruised to an emphatic 2-0 (21-11, 21-9) win. Milosz Kruk, on nine points for the winners, was the best scorer of the match. His teammate Mikolaj Miszczuk added another eight.

“We played a good game in the match against Germany. We played good side-out, good reception and served well. We are strong in this tournament,” stated 19-year-old Miszczuk, the oldest on the Polish squad, after the match. “I like beach volleyball, in general, but this 4x4 version is a crazy game and we are having great fun! For our semifinal against Qatar, we must relax, recover and play a strong match.”

Spectacular net action in the Poland vs. Germany game

United States stormed into their quarterfinal with Mozambique with a 7-0 run, but the African side kept fighting and almost caught up. However, the Americans once again broke away. With an ace, their setter Riley McKibbin delivered the set point, which converted to a 21-14 close on a spiking error by the opponents. USA continued dominating over the second set, with Troy Field closing it off at 21-13 with spectacular high-flying spikes for the last two points. He finished with a total of 11 points, all in attack, and shared the top scorer honours with teammate Brian Cook, who impressed with six kill blocks in addition to his five successful spikes.

USA’s Casey Patterson and Brian Cook on the block against Mozambique’s Delcio Soares

For dessert, Indonesia and Australia delivered a fantastic three-set show for the spectators on centre court. The Aussies came in strong opening a wide gap, but their opponents gradually closed it, with Tio Kesuma Sentosa acing for 17-17. The first set went deep into overtime and finally it was Maximilian Guehrer’s off-the-block hit that ended it at 25-23 Australia’s way. Indonesia struck back in the second set, gaining complete control on the way to a 21-16 win, shaped up by Sentosa with an elegant tip off and over the block for the last point. Throughout the deciding set, Rendy Licardo was on fire at the net. He almost single-handedly reigned on the court and crowned his performance with two consecutive monster blocks for the last two points in the 15-9 epilogue. An incredible tally of 26 points made him the best scorer of the match, followed by Guehrer on 21.

“I am very excited about this victory, because Australia are among the best teams in the world, but this did not intimidate us and we just went for it,” Rendy Licardo commented. “Our team is very united, we came in with a solid strategy and we worked together for the win. Against USA tomorrow, we have nothing to lose, so we will be very motivated and in high spirits.”