Krou/Aye lead winners at Montpellier 1-Star

Montpellier, France, August 29, 2018 - The Main Draw of the 1-Star FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event in Montpellier started on Wednesday - the tournament is set to reach its climax on Saturday with the semifinals and medal matches, with ranking points counting for the first time towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Swiss teams with perfect record in women’s tournament
Sweden’s Felicia Granberg/Johanna Wikberg took to the court after making it through Tuesday’s qualification. However, they lost in two sets to Japan’s Satono Ishitsubo/Asami Shiba.

It was a very good day for the four Swiss teams competing in the women’s tournament as they all claimed their respective matches. Kim Huber and Tatjana Greber needed two sets only to edge Greece’s Dimitra Manavi and Konstantina Tsopoulou. Laura Caluori/Dunja Gerson stormed to a landslide 2-0 (21-10, 21-11) victory over France’s Marie Nevot and Pia Szewczyk. Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge-Depre claimed a 2-0 win over Canadian lucky losers Rian Lenarduzzi and Anna Dunn-Suen. Finally, Nicole Eiholzer and Elena Steinemann were able to secure a 2-0 victory in their matchup with home stars Laura Longuet and Ophelie Lusson.

Zoe Verge-Depre was among many Swiss players celebrating success on Wednesday in Montpellier.

There was nevertheless something to celebrate for the home fans as Clemence Vieira/Mia Guyot Polverini beat the experienced Dutch duo Annemieke Driessen/Ilke Meertens 2-0 (21-13, 21-16). After the score stood at 15-all in the second set, the young French players remained focused to claim victory much to the delight of the local crowd.

Playing their first tournament together, France’s Alexandra Jupiter and Lézana Placette claimed the first set of their matchup with American twin sisters Audrey and Nicole Nourse, before securing a 2-1 win. “We let them grow during the match whilst our confidence went down but we won the match in the end since we did never give up,” Placette said.

Finally, Julia Wouters and Pleun Ypma of the Netherlands lost in three sets to Norway’s Emilie Olimstad and Frida Berntsen.

French teams take centre stage in men’s competition
The young French team Maxime Thiercy/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat dominated a game against Czechs Martin Sramek/Dominik Samec. With a run of controlled attacks and blocks, which never handed a chance to their opponents, the home side claimed a 2-0 victory (21-11, 21-17).
Later in the day, home stars Youssef Krou/Quincy Aye made a great start to the tournament as well making almost no mistakes in their match against South Africans Jamaine Naidoo/Leo Williams 2-0 (21-8, 21-10). “We played a beautiful match without letting them any chance to cause us any problems. Our service was aggressive, we did not make a mistake and we enjoyed playing here!” said Aye.

It was a good day for English teams as well. Twin brothers Javier and Joaquin Bello came from behind to beat Japan’s Yu Koshikawa/Hiroki Dylan Kurokawa 2-1 (17-21, 21-8, 15-12). Chris Gregory/Issa Batrane (also of England) beat Marius Malinauskas/Artur Vasiljev (LTU), and on Thursday will play Krou/Aye for first place in their pool.

Edouard Rowlandson/Olivier Bartelemy provided further joy to the French fans as they beat Ruben Penninga/Tom van Steenis (NED) 2-0 (21-16, 21-16). On the other hand, Florian Breer and Yves Haussener of Switzerland beat France’s Arnaud Loiseau and Adrian Caravano 2-1 (20-22, 21-16, 15-12). “It was a great match, really tight, and we are proud of our victory,” the young Swiss players said.


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