Two Australian pairs to defend host country honours in Shepparton semis

Shepparton, Australia, February 3, 2018 – The two top-seeded teams, both from the host country Australia, made the semifinals at the Shepparton one-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. 

One pair from USA and one from Germany will challenge the Aussies in the Sunday morning battles for the two spots in the big gold medal final.

Top-seeded Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann started the day with a tough duel with Martin Appelgren and Simon Boman for the first place in Pool A. Coming back from a set down, the Swedes persevered for a 2-1 (19-21, 22-20, 15-10) win, which sent them directly to the quarterfinals.

To qualify for the quarterfinals, McHugh and Schumann had to defeat Fiji’s Inia Korowale and Nacanieli Elliot, managing a speedy 2-0 (21-8, 21-11) close. The Aussies kept that momentum into the quarterfinals where they mastered a 2-0 (21-6, 21-17) shutout of USA’s Eric Zaun and Adam Roberts.

Second-seeded Cole Durant and Zachery Schubert had one fewer games to play on Saturday as they defeated Germany’s Armin Dollinger and Simon Kulzer, hammering out a 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) victory in the Pool B first place match. It was much tougher for the Aussies in their quarterfinal encounter with Canada’s Sergiy Grabovskyy and Fiodar Kazhamiaka, who made them work for their spot in the semis in three sets – 2-1 (21-15, 19-21, 15-11).

Dollinger and Kulzer saved some power as their first elimination round opponents, Nuttanon Inkiew and Sedtawat Padsawud from Thailand, had to withdraw due to an injury. The extra energy came in handy in the tough all-European clash with Appelgren and Boman in the quarterfinals. The Germans survived in two extended sets to defeat the Swedes by 2-0 (23-21, 24-22).

Dollinger and Kulzer celebrate a point during their match with Durant and Schubert

USA’s Chase Frishman and James Avery Drost, who came into the main draw from Thursday’s qualifications, extended their winning streak on Shepparton sand to five victories. They claimed the top spot in Pool C with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) win against Hong Kong’s Pui Lam Wong and Tsz Ho Kelvin Lau. The second set of their quarterfinal match with Thailand’s Surin Jongklang and Adisorn Khaolumtarn was the first one Frishman and Drost lost on the courts at Victoria Park Lake, but they managed to recover for a 2-1 (21-6, 19-21, 15-8) victory, which set them up against Durant and Schubert in Sunday’s first men’s semifinal.

This match will start at 09.30 local time and will be followed by the second semifinal, in which Dollinger and Kulzer will present the next hurdle for McHugh and Schumann along the road to defending their 2017 title. All matches on the last competition day will be streamed live on the FIVB YouTube Channel


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