The Hague, Netherlands, January 4, 2018 – Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch showed their partnership is set to strengthen in 2018 after they made a winning start to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, Dela Beach Open on Thursday.
The German duo began their campaign by beating Austrian pair Katharina Schutzenhofer and Lena Plesiutschnig 2-0 (26-24, 21-18) in the indoor arena at Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague.
“It is kind of fun because we know how to play indoor, but we’ve had four weeks practicing outside, and it is just different,” Borger said. “It is good because it helps the serve, so if you have a strong serve and good toss and good touch for the ball you have a big advantage.
“The first set was tight and we were up and down, and up and down and we didn’t know if we were going to win it or not.”
Borger and Kozuch have been together for just over a year after Kozuch stepped away from volleyball to link up with Borger, a player who won Mazury 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships silver and played at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games alongside Britta Buthe.
While Borger and Kozuch enjoyed some success on the European and domestic tours, they were unable to reach the podium on the World Tour, with a quarterfinal place at the Moscow 3-Star tournament their best result.
“We still have a lot of work in front of us, but we trust each other a lot on the court and somehow we feel that we know each other even if we haven’t been together for that long,” Kozuch said.
“I always thought I would play some beach volleyball, but I didn’t know at what level. But when Karla called me, it became a real option and I thought about it for a month because it was a big step. At the end my heart decided to play beach volleyball.”
Taiana Lima and Elize Maia were happy to play party poopers as they defeated the Netherlands’ Madelein Meppelink and Sanne Keizer in front of the centre court crowd.
The Brazilian pair fed of the crowd’s energy to win 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) to take an early grip on pool E.
“It was the first time we’ve played on an indoor beach and it is different for Brazilian teams,” Taiana said. “Mainly the serves are different because of the movement of the ball, but this is a good start for us.
“I really enjoyed playing in front of this crowd and it helped me play better. Next we have Japan (Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami), who are a new team for us.”
For more information on the tournament, click here