Mol & Sorum happy with the Ostrava trophies

Reigning Olympic champions and winners of the 2019 4-star tournament in Ostrava Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway got back on the men’s throne at this unique Czech venue, after winning their first Elite16 gold on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour. It was their second medal on the Beach Pro Tour, after the bronze they claimed at the Rosarito Elite16 in March.

Home favourites Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner, the number one seed in the main draw bracket, had to settle for the Ostrava silver for the third time in a row, after finishing runners-up at the previous two editions of the tournament. It was also their second silver on the new Beach Pro Tour, after their second place at April’s Itapema Challenge.

Last year’s Ostrava winners Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands, now seeded third, completed the podium on Sunday. After their Rosarito silver, the Ostrava bronze was the second Beach Pro Tour medal on the Dutch pair’s tally.

· All the matches of the Ostrava Elite16 are available to watch on demand on Volleyball TV.

Inspired by the fantastic ambience created by the fans at the Lower Vitkovice centre court, Perusic and Schweiner dominated the second half of the first set in the final. They managed to open a solid gap towards the end of the set and Schweiner closed it off at 21-15 with a free ball that proved too difficult for the Norwegians to handle. A really close battle marked the second set, with the lead frequently switching hands. Two Czech match points were denied, before a monster block by Mol delivered the first set point for Norway, which Sorum capitalised on with a powerful hit for 23-21. The two teams continued the spectacular race for the Ostrava gold in the tie-breaker. The fierce battle led to a 12-12 tie. Mol’s successful attack brought it to match point at 14-12. Two rallies down the road, Sorum put it down on the line for the championship winner and a 2-1 (15-21, 23-21, 15-13) victory.

“It’s been an amazing tournament!” Andres Mol exclaimed. “It’s really special to play here, at this really unique factory. We love this place and we’ve been able to win two titles here now, which is amazing! Super proud and happy about that! And we love to play in front of this crowd, even though they are not cheering for us. It brings us so much energy! We have a lot of respect for Ondrej and David. They are super nice guys, hard workers and fighters and should be proud.”

“This title was extremely tough for us, because it was our second tournament of the season and we haven’t played many matches,” Christian Sorum added. “To go all the way was really tough. And against the Czechs, it was a dream final. They played super well and we were a bit lucky. We just kept fighting and managed to win in the end.”

Perusic & Schweiner v Mol & Sorum: Match Highlights

In the bronze medal game, Brouwer and Meeuwsen defeated Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, who made it all the way to the last four starting from Wednesday’s qualifiers. The first set offered a fierce battle for every rally. The gap never exceeded two points and the set was pushed deep into the overtime. Herrera and Gavira failed to convert four consecutive set points, but a monster block by Meeuwsen converted his side’s first set point to a 25-23 win. Brouwer and Meeuwsen were well in control of the second set. They took an 8-5 lead, which the Spaniards managed to wipe out with three points in a row for a 12-12 tie, but the Dutchmen ran off with another three point advantage, closing the match at 2-0 (25-23, 21-18).

“I’m just super happy with this win!” Alexander Brouwer said after the match. “After yesterday, we came back strong like this, keeping our heads cool and finishing in two sets against the Spanish guys, whom we’ve played against maybe like 20 or 30 times... It’s a really good feeling to snatch the bronze medal here. It’s incredible to play here, at this venue, at the steel factory, and I really love the Czech fans and also the people who come here from Poland and Germany to watch. It’s an amazing volleyball find and I really enjoy that we are all growing the beach volleyball game together here in Ostrava.”

Herrera & Gavira v Brouwer & Meeuwsen: Match Highlights

The semifinals in Ostrava were played on Saturday evening. In the first one, Mol and Sorum produced a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) shutout of Brouwer and Meeuwsen. The second was also decided in straight sets, but the second was one of the longest on the Beach Pro Tour so far. Perusic and Schweiner snatched a spot in Sunday’s final after a hard-fought 2-0 (21-19, 36-34) win over Herrera and Gavira.