Russians and Germans set up all-European men’s final at Nanjing

Nanjing, China, July 14, 2018 – Russia’s Denis Shekunov/Dmitrii Veretiuk and Germany’s Lukas Pfretzschner/Filip John succeeded in their respective semifinal matches to set up an all-European men’s final at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships Tangshan International Beach Sports Park on Saturday.

In the all-Russian semifinal, Alexey Gusev/Pavel Shustrov opened the match with a 4-0 lead, but Shekunov/Veretiuk got back on its feet to deadlock at 9-all. Shekunov/Veretiuk shifted the momentum to their side with excellent hustle on defence to lead 15-10 lead, but Gusev/Shustrov showed they were not yet done and tied the score at 21-all. After scoring on an attack, Veretiuk served an ace to close the set 23-21.

Shekunov/Veretiuk carried on their momentum from the first set to lead 16-12, but Shustrov’s heroics and the errors of their rivals helped them get back in the game at 19-all. Shekunov/Veretiuk scored on back-to-back attacks to close the match 21-19.

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Germany’s Pfretzschner/John needed three sets to complete their semifinal victory against Argentina’s Mauro Zelayeta/Bautista Amieva.

The Germans gained an early 4-2 edge, coming from John’s brilliant save and block. John continued to intimidate on the attack and block to extend the lead to 11-8. The German side kept their advantage until John and Pfretzschner took turns on hitting winners to snatch the opening set win 21-16.

The Argentines built an 8-4 cushion at the start of the second set and managed to contain the German attack that helped them build a 15-6 lead. They completed their comeback and forced the tiebreaker with Zelayeta’s service winner 21-10.

Pfretzschner took charge of the German defence and set up John, who pounded on the Argentine defence. The European side had a 10-8 lead, when the South Americans suffered on a string of errors to put the Germans further ahead 13-8. Pfretzchner’s drop shot sealed the victory 15-9.


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