Aalsmeer, Netherlands, March 16, 2018 – Four of the eight teams qualified for the quarterfinals of the Blooming Beach Aalsmeer 1-star men’s indoor event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour became known on Friday as main draw action got underway at The Beach.
The top three seeds and a pair from New Zealand won their pools and advanced directly to the battles for the semifinals spots.
Top seeds Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen from host country the Netherlands, their compatriots Christiaan Varenhorst and Jasper Bouter, seeded second, and Indonesia’s Ade Rachmawan and Mohammad Ashfiya, the third best ranked team in the line-up, as well as Kiwis Ben O'Dea and Sam O'Dea will skip the first round of single elimination, waiting for their quarterfinal opponents to become known.
Brouwer and Meeuwsen claimed a tough 2-0 (21-16, 22-20) win in the all-Dutch clash with wildcards Sven Vismans and Jannes van der Ham and went on to beat Germany’s Max Betzien and Jonathan Erdmann 2-0 (21-10, 21-16) for the first place in Pool A. Vismans and Van der Ham will face Russia’s Sergey Gorbenko and Vasilii Ivanov on Saturday in the losers’ match-up for the last ticket to the next stage.
Varenhorst and Bouter also had German opponents in the first leg of pool play and were as successful with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) victory over Bennet Poniewaz and Simon Kulzer. In the Pool B final, the Dutch duo delivered another shutout, this time of Poland’s Mateusz Lysikowski and Maciej Rudol 2-0 (21-18, 21-12). The third place in the pool will be contested between the German pair and Indonesia’s Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro and Danangsyah Pribadi.
The other Indonesian pair, Candra and Ashfiya, also mastered a couple of straight-setters on the way to the quarterfinals. A 2-0 (26-24, 21-11) victory over Denmark’s Morten Overgaard and Daniel Jonassen and a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win against Dutchmen Ruben Penninga and Tom van Steenis lifted the Asian duo to the top of the standings in Pool C. The survival match in the pool will have the Danish team locking horns with France’s Olivier Barthelemy and Romain Di Giantommaso.
Breaking the seeding order in Pool D, New Zealanders O’Dea and O’Dea persevered through a three-setter on the way to a 2-1 (21-13, 16-21, 15-12) victory over fifth-seeded Mateusz Paszkowski and Kacper Kujawiak from Poland, while Denmark’s Kristoffer Abell and Daniel Thomsen managed a 2-0 (22-20, 21-17) win against fourth-seeded Dirk Boehlé and Steven van de Velde from the Netherlands, leaving the Poles and the Dutchmen to lock horns for the one remaining vacancy in the knockout stage of the tournament. O’Dea and O’Dea set foot on the first place in the pool standings with a speedy 2-0 (21-16, 21-12) shutout of the Danes.
Main draw action in Aalsmeer will resume on Saturday at 9 AM local time with the remaining pool play games, to be followed by the first single elimination round in the afternoon, and the quarterfinals in the evening.