Larnaka, Cyprus, July 27, 2016 – Brazil’s Vitoria De Souza Rodrigues and Ana Carolina Almeida Costa eased into the main draw of the FIVB U19 World Championships on Wednesday with two wins in qualification. The top seeds had a bye in the first round, overpowered Romania’s Florina Murariu and Zeynep Koc (21-8, 21-9) in the second round, but had a tough one against Emi van Driel and Raïsa Schoon (19-21, 21-13, 15-11) from the Netherlands.
In their final match of the day, on a soaring hot centre court, the Brazilian girls lost the first set to the strong playing Dutch, who are coached by Debora Schoon-Kadijk. She is a two-time Olympian and mother of the 14-year old Raïsa, one of the youngest players who entered the age-group event in Larnaka, Cyprus.
In the second set Vitoria and Ana Carolina adjusted their passing and setting and found their rhythm. “It was hard because of the hot weather and the wind”, said Ana Carolina. “The wind made the setting a little bit more difficult, but we were able to adapt.”
“We just told each other to be patient and we kept our heads in the game”, added Vitoria. The Brazilians came back to win the second and the tiebreak.
The pressure is off now, their coach said.
The U19 is the first international event for the 16 and 17-year old girls and they were a bit nervous in the beginning. Ana Carolina: “We’re glad the first day is behind us. We are positive about the way we performed. So now we’re not anxious anymore.”
The other three teams that won all their matches and earned a spot in the main draw are USA’s Kathryn Plummer and Milica Mirkovic (6th seeded), Norway’s Emilie Olimstad and Kirstine Larsdatter Garder (12th) and Agnieska Paskevic and Jekaterina Kovalskaja of Lithuania (10th).
Slovenia's Spela Morgan and Tajda Losvin and Martina Maixnerova and Marie-Sara Stochlova from the Czech Republic were added to the main tournament as lucky losers.
The main draw of the 14th double gender U19 World Champs will start with pool play from Thursday. The elimination rounds are scheduled for Friday afternoon and Saturday, followed by the semifinals and medal matches on Sunday.
The U19 women’s main draw field features young beach volleyball stars like Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa from Brazil, who is the reigning U19 and U21 world champ, and the 2015 and 2016 U20 European champion Nika Daalderop of the Netherlands.
Larnaka, a popular tourist destination on the southern coast of Cyprus, is hosting a FIVB age-group event for the third time after staging the U19 in 2012 and the U21 World Championships two years ago.
Like in 2014 the purpose-built stadium is set up on Finikoudes Beach, with three more courts right next to it. Larnaka also hosted the U20 European championships in 2015.Quick Links• U19 World Championships Larnaka, Cyprus 2016 - website• Qualification - Men• Qualification - Women• Main draw - Men• Main draw - Women