Lucerne, Switzerland, May 15, 2016 – In a packed stadium at the Lido in Lucerne, Josue Gastan Gaxiola Leyva and Jose Luis Rubio Camargo upset the home crowd on Sunday by eliminating Swiss team Florian Breer and Yves Haussener 2-1 (12-21, 21-14, 15-13) in the quarterfinal of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships.
The match started out hopeful for the 2,100 Swiss fans when Breer and Haussener won the first set easily. But the Mexicans came back to win the second. In the tiebreak the Swiss were leading 13-10, but nerves got to them and the Mexicans turned it around again, winning 15-13.
“We went in a little bit too confident”, said 19-year old Rubio about their poor start. “We thought this would be an easy win, but they caught us off guard. My partner was pretty nervous and towards the end of the match he let go of his nerves and played to his potential.”
The Mexicans, who defeated Finland’s birthday boy Santeri Siren and Miro Maattanen 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) earlier that day to reach the quarterfinals, had never played in front of a crowd like this. “It didn’t affect me personally”, said Rubio, “it gave me adrenaline, but my partner got a little bit nervous.”
They had finished a disappointing 17th place two years ago at the U19, Rubio said. “I am very happy because this is our second world championship and in the first we didn’t do as well as I hoped. So now I know we can compete with the rest.”
The Mexicans will play Norwegian cousins Anders Berntsen Mol (18) and Mathias Berntsen (20) in the semifinal on Monday. The CEV U20 champions booked wins over France’s Arnaud Loiseau and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat (21-9, 21-19) and Russia’s Maxim Sivolap and Taras Myskiv (19-21, 24-22, 16-14) to reach the final four.
Especially the match against Russia was a struggle, Mol said. “It was really tough to get points on them on our own serve. We were down 12-9, but I got some blocks. And of course that is really important because you get inside his head. It was such a relief to win this.”Brazil and Venezuela meet again
The other two teams that reached the final four were Venezuela’s Jose ‘Tigrito’ Gregorio Gomez (20) and Rolando ‘Peter’ Hernandez (19) and Brazil’s George Souto Maior Wanderley (19) and Arthur Diego Mariano Lanci (20).
This semifinal will be a rematch of the semifinal at the U19 World Championships in Porto two years ago, where Brazil ended up with the gold and Venezuela with bronze.
Venezuela defeated Uruguay’s Sebastian Vieyto Acosta and Marco Cairus Lucarelli (21-17, 16-21, 15-9) and Poland’s Mateusz Lysikowski and Mateusz Paszkowski (21-11, 21-15) on Sunday.
“We are so happy”, Tigrito said. “It’s always nice when the hard work pays off. For tomorrow, we need to focus and need to prepare physically and psychologically. We will do the best we can and hope we’ll win.”
Brazil’s George and Arthur beat Germany’s Eric Stadie and Niklas Rudolf (21-16, 21-18) and Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin (24-26, 21-19, 15-12) on their way to the semifinal.
In the quarterfinal Brazil and Russia put on a great show for the crowd in the packed Lido-stadium. They showed the best of beach volleyball with long rallies, powerful attacks and amazing digs.
It was a point-by-point match all the way. In the first set Brazil had the opportunity to close it at 20-18, 20-19 and again at 21-20 and 23-22, but the Russians took it at their second set point. Brazil fought back to enforce a tiebreak in a very tight second set. In the third Russia took the lead several times, but in the end made too many unforced errors.
Sticking together made the difference, George said. “We kept calm, played our best. We stuck together all the time. We made some mistakes but we stayed together and kept going.”
“Most of the games after the round of 16 are finals. The teams that remain are all good teams, they play well. But this game was sensational. I don’t have words to describe it.”
George and Arthur love the beach volleyball fans in Switzerland. “The crowd was amazing, the whole time they cheered for us, they were perfect. It was just like home, except for the cold.”Quick linksFIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships Lucerne 2016Men - Qualification resultsWomen - Qualification resultsMen - Main draw resultsWomen - Main draw results