The fans in attendance for the first day of competition at the 2018 CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour stop in Kranjska Gora witnessed high-level performances from the 21 men’s and 10 women’s teams fighting their ways towards the most exciting stages of the tournament.
The top-seeded teams were due to set the tone of the competition but the spectators at the popular Slovenian ski resort witnessed many tight matches, including some finishing with surprises and upsets in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
The second-seeded Russians Valeriy Durnin/Ivan Golovin lost twice on Saturday, first to German national champions Paul Becker/Jonas Schröder and then to the silver medallists from the German championships, Dennis Kliche/Danny Richter-Darge. Becker/Schröder have already qualified for Sunday’s fourth round of the competition along with top-seeded Russians Ruslan Bykanov/Maksim Hudyakov, Polish top-seeded Michal Matyja/Piotr Janiak and 14-seeded Izsák Soós/Viktor Erik Bán from Hungary.
Michal Matyja, the 2017 ‘King of the Snow’ shared his excitement after their victory against Russia’s Vsevolod Bobrikov/Vladislav Mikhalev. “We won two games today, which means that we are in the ‘quarterfinals’ and we are aiming at reaching the finals tomorrow. We hope we qualify for the European Championship, especially because it is the first ever. I have played Snow Volleyball for six years now and I feel we should definitely be there. Let’s hope for the best tomorrow.”
Two semi-finalists of the women’s competition emerged on Saturday. Turkey’s Aleyna Vence/Bugra Eryildiz and Slovakia’s Silvia Poszmikova/Romana Jurenkova who both already know the feeling of playing on the European Tour stage are awaiting their opponents to emerge from Sunday’s matches. Six more teams still have a chance to progress to the semis, two from Austria and one each from Slovenia, Czech Republic, Romania and Germany.
Silvia Poszmikova said after qualifying for the semi-finals: “We feel amazing after the games today and are very happy to be in the semi-finals and hope for the best result tomorrow.”