Norway’s Mol & Sørum take Xiamen win over Alison/Bruno Schmidt
Norway’s Anders Berntsen Mol and Christian Sandlie Sørum continue performing at the 2018 Xiamen Open
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Mol/Sørum, C. progressed into Xiamen Open through the qualification tournament, meeting Alison/Bruno Schmidt in their opening pool match. The Norwegians pulled out a determined show closing out the Brazilians in two sets.
“We feel great, it was such a great game by us, we gave so much and our tactic was really good,” said Mol.
“We had a great side-out and our block defence worked really well and there was a lot of aggression during the game so it was fun to play,” said Sørum.
“There was a lot of screaming, a lot of emotions on the court, so it was great to shout out the winning final scream,” said Mol.
Christian Sandlie Sørum(left) and Anders Berntsen Mol(middle) from Norway, Alison Cerutti(right) from Brazil.
Facing Alison/Bruno Schmidt is a daunting task for any team.
“We thought, we knew this would be a lot of fun because we know they are the Olympic champions, they are the world champion, you name it, they are everything, so we were just really relaxed, we knew it was going to be a fun game and we’re just going to do our best to win or take a set. Because we are underdogs and it’s easier for us to play than it is for them I guess because everyone wants to beat them and we really wanted to beat them today,” said Mol.
“We’ve had some good training camps and our level is getting better and better and we just want to find that level and see how far we can go,” said Sørum.
“Our goal this year is to get a medal on the podium, so this is one step closer for sure,” said Mol.
Qualifiers Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson from Switzerland also took Austria’s Alexander Horst and Clemens Doppler by surprise, taking the win, 2-1 (21-19, 15-21, 15-13).
Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson from Switzerland face Austria's Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst
Top seeds Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Batorsz Losiak are through to single round elimination defeating China’s Li Zhuoxin/Li Lei, 2-0 (21-11, 21-16). Defending Xiamen Open champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen are also through with a win over China’s Gao Peng and Li Yang, 2-0 (21-15, 21-18).
Women’s Main Draw
Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova from Czech Republic take their first pool win by defeating Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina in the noon heat of the day. The two teams battled into the tie break, with the Czech team taking the edge 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, 15-12).
“I think we had a really good game, from the beginning to the end, with a little gap with a few mistakes, but we kind of collected them in one moment, so it brought the Russians back, but I think the rest of the game we really pushed and had a good service. We aced a few times and had a good side out in the end,” said Kolocova.
“It’s China, it’s everyday different, like one day we were practicing and it was really cold so we were in long pants, now it’s super hot, so it’s changing everyday, but that’s what beach volleyball is. I’m really glad that we made it in those hot conditions,” said Kvapilova.
Kristyna Kolocova (left) and Michala Kvapilová from Czech Republic
“We arrived here a little earlier, so we got used to it and also the jetlag is not a problem anymore, because there was no tournament before China, so we came one week earlier and got used to the conditions, but as Micha said it was rainy and cold, now it’s hot with almost no wind,” said Kolocova.
Kolocova/Kvapilova reached the quarterfinals of the four-star FIVB Dela Open and finished 17th in Fort Lauderdale five-star.
“This season we started with a fifth place and also won the CEV Masters, so we have made a really good step into the season, but then we didn’t do that well in the first major tournament, so now we want to get good results. We are a little bit disappointed with 17th and 25th place results, we would like to get closer to podium or on it,” said Kolocova.
Wang Fan (right) and Xia Xinyi from China during their opening Xiamen Open match
China’s Wang Fan and Xinyi Xia had a gruelling 1.07 hour match on centre against Japan’s Azusa Futami and Akiko Hasegawa. A nervous Xinyi Xia made a number of unforced errors on the multiple match point and the win finally went to Japan, 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 29-27).
Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes progress smoothly defeating China’s Cao Shuting and Zeng Jinjin from China on centre, 2-0 (21-18, 21-8). Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude also on track in Xiamen, beating Wang Xinxin and Bai Bing, 2-0 (21-15, 21-8) in their opening match.
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