2018-08-17 13:39:00 CEST
Lupo and Nicolai advance despite of setback to Stoyanovskiy and Velichko
Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai needed all 12 sets during pool play to book their places in the elimination round of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals Hamburg 2018 presented by Vodafone, but after all, they are in.
The Rio 2016 silver medalists ender their Pool A campaign with two victories and two setbacks after they were taken down in three sets (18-21, 21-16, 18-20) by Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko.
“It’s obviously disappointing to lose another match, but we knew it was pool play and we are qualified,” Lupo commented. “It was a good game and I think we played well despite of the result. Now we are looking forward to play in the elimination round.”
The Italians will need to make good use of their energy as they enter the most important stage of the tournament as the only team to have played three sets in each of their four matches so far. According to Nicolai, that won’t be a problem.
“We’re ready, there’s still some gas left in the tank,” he remarked. “We prepare to play tough matches like these, that’s our job. We had an injury to start the season, so we had some time off and now feel we are in pretty good form now.”
The Italians need to wait for the conclusion of Pool A, with the match between Germany’s’ Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler and Poland’s Bartosz Losiak/Piotr Kantor to know their opponents in the quarterfinals.
The Russians, on the other hand, are out of the tournament, despite of having the same two victories of the Italians.
“We tried to put away the pressure, free our minds and play our game and we managed to do it,” Stoyanovskiy commented. “It’s the best tournament with the best 10 teams in the world. I think it’s been a great season for us, so far we have three medals, a spot in the Hamburg Finals. We made some progress during the year and now we believe we can win against some teams like Paolo and Dani.”