Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri’s wild card for the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Finals in Doha started paying off with their first match in the Qatari capital on Thursday. In the Pool A opening match on centre court, the recently reunited Italian pair fought back from a set down against Andre Stein and George Wanderley to celebrate victory.
Carambula & Ranghieri fight back to start Doha Finals with a win
Bryl & Losiak are the only team with two victories on Thursday
Опубликовано 07:18, 26 Jan 2023
The fourth-seeded Brazilians were more focused at the end of a hard-fought first set to take the lead in the match. The second set was even more competitive. Andre and George recovered from a four-point deficit to push it deep into overtime before Carambula and Ranghieri could level the match and prompt a tie-breaker. Stepping up his blocking efforts, Ranghieri owned the net in the third set and led the Italian team to a 2-1 (18-21, 24-22, 15-8) victory.
“In every competition the first match is always difficult, but we were able to figure it out. We are coming from a short preparation and we are adapting to the situation. A win is the best start, but we are focused and we are going to see how the rest is going to go,” Ranghieri told Volleyball World after the game. “And the wild card was really the best gift for us. We are lucky to be here and we really appreciate it.”
“We are playing in the Tour Finals and the best skill in this type of tournaments is the ability to come back, the ability to fight, to understand the evolution of the game, and that’s what we did. I feel like we had a good idea of how to approach the game, we made a couple of unforced errors, but then we fought and that was the key,” Carambula added and then commented on how his renewed partnership with Ranghieri is going. “We’re taking it one day at a time. We are trying to understand the new version of ourselves. We are a little bit more mature. We are communicating better... It is going to be up to us to keep it working.”
Michal Bryl and Bartosz Losiak excelled on day one, claiming two straight-set wins to take the lead in Pool A. The fifth-seeded Poles started their campaign with a convincing 2-0 (21-17, 21-8) shutout of Chile’s Marco Grimalt and Esteban Grimalt, with Losiak serving as many as six aces in that match. Then they mastered a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) sweep of George and Andre, outpacing their opponents in attack. Top-seeded home pair Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan pleased their fans on the stands with a straight-set victory over the Grimalt cousins. The Qataris were way more successful in attack than their rivals to produce a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) win.
Pool B started with two three-set battles. On centre court, Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands capitalised on Renato Lima and Vitor Felipe’s many unforced errors to counter the Brazilians’ great blocking performance on the way to a 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-13) win. At the same time, Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner lost a very long first set to Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava, but then fought back to claim a 2-1 (29-31, 21-18, 15-11) victory.
In the evening session, Nicolai and Cottafava had a tough encounter with Brouwer and Meeuwsen, but after pushing both sets to overtime, the Italians celebrated a 2-0 (22-20, 24-22) win. Before Cottafava’s cleverly placed left-handed shot that ended the match, his duo had to overcome a six-point Dutch lead at 9-3 in the second set.
In the last match of the day, Perusic and Schweiner were close to upsetting the world’s number one team, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum. The Czechs prevailed in the first set and had the lead for the most part of the second. In the rainy conditions, the Norwegians found their way back into the game. Sorum was on fire in attack and hammered out as many as 29 points, while Mol chipped in three blocking points, the last of which registered the 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-10) winner. On the other side of the net, however, Schweiner did both, 29 successful spikes and three kill blocks, towards a fantastic 32-point match high.