Ljubljana, Slovenia, August 4, 2018 – Russia’s Valeriy Samoday and Taras Myskiv, one of the teams that progressed from Friday's qualifications to the men’s main draw at the Ljubljana one-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, went on to win their pool and advance straight to the quarterfinals.
The lowest seeded pair in the men’s main draw, Samoday and Myskiv, started their Pool A campaign with a 2-1 (13-21, 21-16, 15-13) upset of home favourites Nejc Zemljak and Jan Pokersnik, seeded at #1. The Russians followed that up with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) shutout of eighth-seeded Ukrainians Oleksii Denin and Denys Denysenko to top the final standings in the pool and book a spot among the quarterfinalists.
“Luckily, I got the chance to play with Valeriy, and I took it,” Myskiv said. I need to play as many tournaments as possible to collect points for the world ranking. Now I am here with a nice partner, at a nice venue and playing a nice tournament. I will surely come back to Ljubljana again.”
Despite their loss, Zemljak and Pokersnik also qualified for the quarterfinals. They took the third place in the pool after a 2-0 (22-20, 21-17) victory over Canada’s Simon Fecteau-Boutin and Sergiy Grabovskyy. In the first elimination round, the Slovenians managed a 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) win over third-seeded Dutchmen Tom van Steenis and Ruben Penninga. One more home team, 13th-seeded Danijel Pokersnik and Tadej Bozenk, also started off with a loss, but rebounded with two wins to stay in contention.
“We didn’t deliver our best performance in the first match, but we managed to step up and I must say that I am satisfied with our game,” Jan Pokersnik commented. “I hope we will repeat this performance tomorrow in the quarterfinals to progress to the evening games."
Seventh-seeded Florian Breer and Yves Haussener of Switzerland, 11th-seeded Thomas Kunert and Peter Eglseer of Austria, who also came into the main draw from the qualifications, and fifth-seeded Sergiy Popov and Vladyslav Iemelianchyk of Ukraine won Pools B, C and D, respectively, for the direct spots in the quarterfinals.
In addition to the two Slovenian teams, Ukraine’s Denin and Denysenko, seeded eighth, and Brazil’s Marcio Guadie Ley and Arthur Diego Mariano Lanci, seeded fourth, won their first knockout round games to stay in contention.