Polish pair improve, but Norwegians still reign

Hamburg, Germany, August 15, 2018 - The last time Anders Mol and Christian Sorum met Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the Norwegians allowed their gold medal opponents at the Vienna Major just 29 points during their two-set win at the August 5 Beach Major Series event in the Austrian capital.

Here Wednesday during the opening pool play rounds at the $800,000 Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone, the Norwegians yielded 34 points to their Polish rivals in posting a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) Pool B win in 34 minutes over Bryl and Fijalek.
Wednesday’s win was the 13th-straight for the young Norwegians on the FIVB World Tour and 20th overall as Mol and Sorum’s streak started a month ago in Switzerland at the Gstaad Major with six consecutive victories followed by six-straight wins in Vienna.  In between the two FIVB gold medal performances, the Norwegians won seven-straight matches to capture the European continental title in The Hague on July 22. 

“Actually, I don’t know,” said the 22-year-old Sorum when asked about the winning streaks. “We have a lot of fun when we play and that’s the most important thing and, we have been practicing hard the whole off-season and finally things are in a good rhythm. I’m happy with the way we are playing right now, and we want to continue. We take one match at a time and just play as good as we can.”

Mol said: “We want to win every game that we play, that’s our goal and we’ll see how far we go. We don’t think about the winning streak. We just play volleyball and then we see how many games we win but right now that streak is not important at all. Our bottom level is so high right now. If we play a bad game, we still play well. If we lose 21-12 and get crushed, we always come back in the next set. That’s how stable our game is.”

While Bryl and Fijalek split a pair of matches on Wednesday with an opening morning win over third-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands, Mol and Sorum will play two matches on Thursday against seventh-seeded Martin Plavins/Edgars Tocs of Latvia and sixth-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain.

Olympians Martins Plavins (left) of Latvia and Adrian Gavira of Spain compete Wednesday at the net

Mol and Sorum have a combined 3-0 record against Thursday’s opponents with two victories over the Spaniards during their winning streak that featured a gold medal win by the Norwegians over Gavira and Herrera in Gstaad and a semifinal victory at the European championships.

Posting Wednesday’s best mark was Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland as the fourth-seeded pair posted a pair of Pool A wins in 35 minutes over 10th-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko of Russia 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) and fourth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia 2-0 (21-17, 21-18).

Stretch for Mikasa is Piotr Kantor as Polish partner Bartosz Losiak follows the action

Kantor and Losiak play two more group matches against eighth-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy on Thursday and top-seeded Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler of Germany on Friday. Lupo and Nicolai open World Tour Finals play on Wednesday with a 2-1 (16-21, 21-14, 15-10) win in 44 minutes over Samoilovs and Smedins while Thole and Wickler play the last match of the day against Stoyanovskiy and Velichko. 

Men’s pool play continues through Friday morning with four group matches followed by the quarterfinal rounds later in the day. The men’s semifinals and medal matches will be played on Saturday where the winning team shares the $150,000 first-place prize. The women’s final four matches will be played on Sunday.


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