Vaduz, Liechtenstein, August 11, 2018 – An interesting clash between former teammates shaped up in one of the men’s semifinals at the Vaduz one-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Sergiy Popov of Ukraine and Valeriy Samoday, now of Russia, who became 2009 U19 world champions and 2011 U21 world champions together under the Ukrainian flag, will now battle against each other for a spot in the big final.
All four of Saturday’s quarterfinals were decided in tie-breakers to determine the last four. In Sunday’s first semifinal, at 12:00 local time, Taras Myskiv and Valeriy Samoday will face Sergiy Popov and Vladyslav Iemelianchyk. The other spot in the gold medal match will be contested by Switzerland’s Florian Breer and Yves Haussener and Poland’s Mateusz Paszkowski and Mateusz Lysikowski at 13:00.
In an epic 58-minute nail-biter, 10th-seeded qualifiers Myskiv and Samoday emerged with a narrow 2-1 (20-22, 21-17, 24-22) victory over Ukraine’s Oleksii Denin and Denys Denysenko and became the first to secure their spot in the semifinals. “We just work hard every day to get better and fortunately this is the result,” Myskiv and Samoday modestly explained their winning streak.
Valeriy Samoday in action during the quarterfinal against former compatriots from Ukraine
However, the other Ukrainian pair in the quarterfinals were successful in their tie-breaker clash. Sixth-seeded Popov and Iemelianchyk lost the first set to second-seeded Latvians Haralds Regza and Toms Smedins, but dominated the next two on the way to a 2-1 (17-21, 21-14, 15-12) win.
The all-Swiss quarterfinal lasted even longer than the one between the Russians and the Ukrainians, with a deciding set that went deep into overtime. Fifth-seeded Breer and Haussener also came back from a set down to snatch a 61-minute 2-2 (14-21, 21-18, 28-26) victory over top-seeded compatriots Quentin Metral and Simon Hagenbuch.
Another comeback scenario unfolded in the last quarterfinal. Eighth-seeded Paszkowski and Lysikowski managed to turn things around to a 2-1 (19-21, 21-12, 15-12) win over third-seeded Brazilians Marcio Guadie Ley and Arthur Diego Mariano Lanci.
Earlier on Saturday, the first knockout round took place, but none of the winners managed to overcome their quarterfinal opponents, who had qualified directly from the pool phase. Home favourites Manuel Gahr and Maximilian von Deichmann lost to Regza and Smedins 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) despite delivering a good performance. Overall, the Liechtenstein team was satisfied with their appearance: “The level at the tournament was as high as usual. We are satisfied that we were able to keep up even in the games we lost. Of course, our pool victory against the Turkish team was a big success. It was a lot of fun playing in front of so many people at home,” Gahr and von Deichmann said.
After the semifinals in the early Sunday afternoon, the bronze medal match will start at 16:00, while the grand finale for the gold medal and the title is set to get underway at 17:00.