2019-06-10 19:27:00 CEST

Doppler/Horst lead Austrian party in Baden

The veterans won their second World Tour gold in front of their home fans

Horst and Doppler won back-to-back golds in Baden (Photocredit: FIVB)Horst and Doppler won back-to-back golds in Baden (Photocredit: FIVB)

Austrian beach volleyball fans had plenty to celebrate during the country’s national holiday Pentecost Monday as Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst and Katharina Schützenhöfer/Lena Plesiutschnig both triumphed at the World Tour one-star event held in Baden.

Doppler and Horst, who are preparing to get another medal as this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord in just weeks, topped the podium at the Austrian city for the second-straight season after they defeated Russians Maxim Sivolap and Arten Yarzutkin in the two-set (21-16, 21-17) gold medal match.

“The final was amazing and we would like to thank the crowd because they had to cope with the heat as well but they stayed and fired us up all the time,” Doppler said. “Many thanks to the organizers and everyone that was here to support us.”

Spanish Alejandro Huerta and Cesar Menendez prevented a second Austrian team from reaching the podium as they downed Christoph Dressler and Alexander Huber 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 16-14) in the bronze medal match.

In the women’s tournament, however, Austria did have gold and bronze medals. Schützenhöfer and Plesiutschnig prevailed in the final with a straight-set (21-17, 21-12) victory over the Netherlands’ Katja Stam and Julia Wouters while the twins Nadine and Teresa Strauss finished third after a 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 19-17) win over Belgium’s Sarah Cools and Lisa Van Der Vonder.

“We are obviously extremely excited and happy to win this tournament,” Schützenhöfer said. “I would like to thank the crowd for cheering for us, as without their help, we would not have achieved this result.”

Chinese on top again at home

China hosted a women-only two-star  World Tour tournament for the second-straight week, this time in Nanjing, and a home team topped the podium again as Jingzhe Wang and Shuhui Wen defeated Brazilians Carolina Horta and Angela Lavalle 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) to claim gold. Japanese Yurika Sakaguchi and Chiyo Suzuki secured bronze.

Teams from Brazil, China and Japan reached the podium in Nanjing (Photocredit: FIVB)Teams from Brazil, China and Japan reached the podium in Nanjing (Photocredit: FIVB)

Seven nations progress at the CEV Continental Cup

In Europe, men’s and women’s teams from different 14 nations battled in two pools to advance to the second phase of the CEV Continental Cup, the region’s qualification system to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Serbian city of Novi Sad hosted Pool A, which saw women’s teams of hosts Serbia and Sweden advance over rosters of Israel and Albania. In the men’s tournament, Serbia and Belarus were the winners, while Romania and San Marino were eliminated.

Pool H took place in Lanarka, Cyprus, and duos from Ukraine and the host nation qualified their countries to the second phase of the women’s event – Scotland and Moldavia are out. Among the men, Finland and France were the ones to advance while Cyprus and Moldavia didn’t make through.

The Swedish women's team dominated the pool A in Novi Sad (Photocredit: CEV)The Swedish women's team dominated the pool A in Novi Sad (Photocredit: CEV)

Also at the continental level, La Paz, in Mexico, hosted an event of the NORCECA Tour. The host country and Canada collected the gold medals as Mexico’s Miguel Sarabia/Raymond Stephens won the men’s event, followed by USA’s Kyle Friend/Travis Mewhirter and Guatemala’s Luis Garcia/Andy Leonardo. Among the women, Canada’s Darby Dunn/Devon May topped the podium, flanked by two home teams in Diana Lizagarra/Maria Quintero and Stephanie Burnside/Paulette Cruz.

National winners in the USA, the Netherlands and Switzerland

The weekend also featured National Tour stops in the United States, the Netherlands and Switzerland. New York hosted the third event of the 2019 American AVP and veterans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena secured the gold medal with a 21-14, 21-16 victory over Tim Bomgren and Troy Field. Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb and Ricardo Santos/Sean Rosenthal tied for third.

Among the women, four of the five teams of the country which are set to play at the World Championships at the end of the month dominated the event. April Ross and Alix Klineman continued in great form as they downed Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil in two sets (21-19, 22-20) to finish on top. Sara Hughes/Summer Ross and Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman finished third.

Ross was playing on her 100th AVP event and won her 35th gold medal. The two-time Olympic medalist and Klineman have now won the last five national tournaments they played at and are undefeated in their home soil for 25 matches.

“Every tournament is just as hard as the last one,” she commented. “The competition is getting harder and harder every year. I’m super excited to win at my 100th tournament and win the Gold Series here in New York City.”

Ross and Klineman have won the last five AVP events they played at (Photocredit: AVP)Ross and Klineman have won the last five AVP events they played at (Photocredit: AVP)

In the Netherlands, Zutphen staged the fifth event of the season, which saw World Championships-bound Marleen van Iersel and Joy Stubbe take gold with a 2-1 (21-17, 21-23, 15-11) victory over Jolien Sinnema and Laura Bloem. Sanne Keizer and Medelein Meppelink, who will also compete in Hamburg, finished third. In the men’s tournament, Martjin Colson/Dennis Deroey, Jannes van der Ham/Thijs Nijeboer and Dirk Boehlé/Stefan Boermans took gold, silver and bronze respectively.

The Swiss Tour season opener in Lucerne was won by Marco Krattiger/Nico Beeler and Zoe Vergé-Dépré/Esmee Böbmer. The World Tour veterans prevailed over Gabriel Kissling/Michiel Zandbergen in the final while Anouk’s younger sister and her partner defeated Ines Egger/Nicole Eiholzer. Australia’s Christopher McHugh/Zachery Schubert were third among the men, while Muriel Graessli/Sarina Schaffutzel completed the women’s podium.

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