Aalsmeer, Netherlands, October 27, 2017 – As many as three Dutch pairs made it to the second round of the Aalsmeer one-star men’s tournament on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. To break their way into the quarterfinals, the home teams won big tie-breaker matches on Friday, delivering some upsets as well.
The Netherlands’ Tom van Steenis and Ruben Penninga, Jannes van der Ham and Sven Vismans and Dirk Boehle and Steven van de Velde, as well as duos from France, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine and USA won their first-round fixtures at The Beach Indoor Center to complete the line-up for Saturday’s quarters.
Van Steenis and Penninga came back from a set down to win the all-Dutch clash against compatriots Pim Heurman and Thijs Nijeboer with the decisive third set going well into overtime – 2-1 (19-21, 21-9, 18-16).
“The second set went the way we like it. We were on full power. The third set seemed to be going the wrong way for us, but we said to each other that we had to follow our goal. We are aiming at the medals, so we need more sets like that second one,” Penninga said after the match.
In the longest lasting match of the day, Van der Ham and Vismans upset Austria’s Florian Schnetzer and Daniel Muellner, seeded second in the main draw, hammering out a 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-11) victory in 53 minutes of play.
The third-seeded Serbs Lazar Kolaric and Djordje Klasnic were knocked out of contention by another home pair. In the last game on Friday’s schedule, Heurman and Nijeboer claimed a 2-1 (16-21, 21-14, 15-12) come-from-behind win to become the third Dutch team into the quarterfinals.
Ukraine’s Oleksii Denin sets the ball
Two more of Friday’s eight games were resolved in tie-breaker sets - Ukraine’s Sergiy Popov and Oleksii Denin defeated France’s Arnaud Loiseau and Olivier Barthelemy, while Italy’s Marco Caminati and Enrico Rossi persevered against Austrian wildcards Julian Hoerl and Philipp Waller.
Top-seeded Maxime Thiercy and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat from France, Hasan Huseyin Mermer and Murat Giginoglu from Turkey and William Kolinske and Miles Evans from USA shut out their respective opponents in two straight sets each to join the list of quarterfinalists.
Saturday’s competition day will start at 12:30 local time with the women’s quarterfinals, to be followed by the men’s quarterfinals at 16:00 and the women’s semifinals at 20:00.