Lucerne, Switzerland, May 11, 2016 – With qualifying for the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Lucerne on Wednesday Adriana-Maria Matei and Beata Vaida wrote history for Romania. The young pair defeated teams from Paraguay, Norway and Poland to be the first women’s team from Romania to compete in a FIVB event.
“We’re very happy with this day”, 18-year old Beata said. “Probably tomorrow this will really sink in and I will feel the happiness even more.”
“There was a lot of pressure on us”, Adriana (17) added. “This is our first FIVB tournament. We started playing beach volleyball only a year ago and we are the only team from Romania.”
Their third round match against Poland’s Martyna Kloda and Agata Trybula (21-18, 20-22, 15-7) was the toughest one of the day and the only three-setter.
The Romanian girls came back in the second set from 17-20 to 20-20, but Poland enforced a tiebreak after all.
“We were a little bit tired after three games and being on the road for two days”, Adriana said. “But we made it in the end.”
The girls and their coach drove all the way from Thessaloniki in Greece, where they had a training camp. Since they are the only professional beach volleyball players in Romania they have to travel abroad to practice with teams from other countries that are on the same level.
So far they have only competed at the 2015 CEV U20 in Larnaka (9th), two zonal events in Greece (5th) and Bulgaria (9th) and in the Turkish national competition.
So nerves also kicked in at the end of the first day.
“But we wanted to win every game, every point, every ball”, said Adriana. “Now we need to reset our minds again and prepare for tomorrow.”
A more experienced team, Russia’s Daria Rudykh and Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya, also made it to the main draw. The young Russians competed at four World Tour events this year. Although they didn’t get passed qualification, it gave them confidence.
“We already have a lot of experience and preparation. So we hope for a good finish here”, Zayonchkovskaya said.
Rudykh and Zayonchkovskaya defeated Chong/Lee from Singapore (21-12, 21-11), Turkey’s Nezir/Cetin (21-16, 21-14) and Italy’s Lantignotti/Traballi (21-13, 22-20) to reach main draw.
It is always tough playing in qualification Rudykh said. “There is more pressure than in main draw. You need to win otherwise you’re out. And playing three games in one day is hard.”
Like the Romanian girls the Russians played two out of their three matches on centre court and they loved the 2,100-seat stadium at the shore of Lake Lucerne.
Rudykh: “We were happy that we could play our first match on centre court. To try and feel the atmosphere. It looks great, just like at the World Tour.”
The other two teams that advanced to main draw are Brazil’s Victoria/Andressa and USA’s Bustamante/Muno. Lucky losers from Lithuania, Poland, Italy, Latvia and Turkey were also added to the main draw.Quick linksFIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships Lucerne 2016Men - Qualification resultsWomen - Qualification resultsMen - Main draw resultsWomen - Main draw results