Michaela Knoblochova in action during her first ever World Tour match
Ostrava, Czech Republic, June 20, 2018 – One of the most popular faces in the new world of snow volleyball, Czech Republic’s Michaela Knoblochova, made her official international debut in beach volleyball in Wednesday’s qualifications at the Ostrava four-star double-gender event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Quick links - Beach volleyball:
Knoblochova made her big break-through in international snow volleyball in 2017, when she and her partner Anna Dostalova won the seasonal title of the CEV European Tour and were crowned Queens of the Snow. With her athletic vision and open personality, she quickly gained the status of a big international star within the new winter discipline, but on the beach she had only played in national events until today.
Michaela Knoblochova and Anna Dostalova lift the Queens of the Snow trophy at the end of the 2017 snow volleyball season
So when she received a proposal to team up with the internationally experienced Karolina Rehackova, it was an offer she could not refuse.
“Two months ago I got an offer from Karolina to play with her. It was amazing because I was already thinking of quitting professional beach volleyball and playing only for fun, but this opportunity gave me new motivation to train more and to set higher goals,” Michaela said.
Michaela smiling in the mixed zone after her World Tour debut
Her best result on the sand so far was a silver medal at a 2017 Super Cup tournament, the highest level in Czech beach volleyball. She and her partner Anna Komarkova lost to internationally renowned Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova in the nationally televised final on the city square in Prague. At a following Super Cup event, Knoblochova and Komarkova also did well, snatching the bronze.
“I had a good 2017 season in Czech beach volleyball, but did not want to continue playing only in national tournaments, so it is the perfect time to start playing internationally, on the World Tour or in continental events. I love snow volleyball, but I prefer playing in my swimsuit on the beach,” said Micha.
Knoblochova’s international debut in beach volleyball did not actually go so well, as she and Rehackova lost in straight sets to Switzerland’s Laura Caluori and Dunja Gerson.
Micha Knoblochova serving the ball in the match against the Swiss pair
“Unfortunately, this is only a recent development and I do not have sponsors yet, so I could not afford to travel with Karolina for the recent tournaments in Asia. She came back only two days ago, we did not have enough time to practice together and get used to each other before the event in Ostrava, and you could see it on the court,” Michaela explains. “We did quite well in individual actions in offence and blocking, but when it came down to defence and reception, our lack of good coordination was obvious and we made a lot of mistakes.”
“But to get a feel of what it is like to play at a tournament of such a high level was amazing! Of course, I really wanted to start my international beach volleyball career with a win, but it was just a small fairy-tale dream,” Knoblochova added, keeping her positive attitude. “This is my first time here, at this historical site in Ostrava, but I had heard about it from friends who had attended music festivals here. I like it! It is really unique and I hope that it will be positively perceived as a beach volleyball venue internationally."
Now that her international beach volleyball career is underway, the 27-year-old 183-cm-tall athlete has no intention of stopping.
“Sure, we have a lot of plans for the future, but as always it all depends on the sponsors that we manage to attract. We want to take part in one- and two-star tournaments. It is amazing that we are already in the main draw at Anapa, but before that we have to put in a lot of hard work in practice together, to get to know each other on the court and let’s hope that success will come our way...”