Team Suisse: Florian Breer und Yves Haussener

Swiss men in the fast lane

The 2018 FISU World University Beach Volleyball Championship (WUBC) goes into the next round. On day two, the second- and third-placed teams in the group stage competed in the intermediate round this afternoon. All the teams that finished the group stage in the morning with a group victory skipped this round. The matches that were decisive for the progress or elimination of the different teams were equally exciting.

Right from the start, things went extremely well for Dutchmen Tom Van Steenis and Ruben Penninga. In two sets, they claimed group victory against the New Zealanders Thomas Richard Hartles and Alani Michael Nicklin (21:14, 21:17). Dutch coach Jochem de Gruijter was pleased: "Our next goal is to reach the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, we only know a few of the teams. That's why I watch the opponent teams a lot - especially, of course, the men from France, Germany and Poland."

Among the men, Florian Breer and Yves Haussener from Switzerland played a top match against the Germans Dan John and Eric Stadie. In 36 exciting minutes, the young Swiss team confirmed their position as favourites after the group stage. Especially the intelligent offensive game and the exceptional defensive performance captivated the audience in the center court. This brought them group victory (21:16, 21:17) and a direct place in the second round.

After a good start to the first match day, the winning streak of Manolina Konstantinou and Zoi Konstantopoulou (Cyprus) ended with the match against Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss from the USA (15-21, 21-19, 11-15). While the Cypriots fought back strongly in the second set after losing the first, the Americans secured their direct entry into the second round in the tie-break with perfectly placed shots. USA team coach Gustavo Rocha was impressed: "The teams here all play at a very high level. That means the burden is on us and us delivering our best performance."

Another highlight followed in the early afternoon: Megan and Nicole McNamara from Canada against Zoé Vergé-Dépré and Esmée Böbner from Switzerland. Both teams fought to the last point, but the Canadian women  secured a strong victory in the second set (21:19, 21:19).

The afternoon was dedicated to the intermediate round. Spain's Óscar Jiménez Gutiérrez and Hugo Rojas Martínez were amongst those able to secure their place in the second round in the match against the Americans Jonathan Justice and Adam Wienckowski (22:20, 21:11) after missing out on a group victory this morning. "My partner blocked extremely well and we improved the serve," Jiménez explained the clear victory. In the evening, the Swiss team of Vergé-Dépré and Böbner also qualified for the second round against the Cypriots Konstantinou and Konstantopoulou.

Day three of the 2018 FISU World University Beach Volleyball Championship (WUBC) will feature the round of 16 and the playoffs for ranks 17 to 32. Do or die! The number one seeded team, the German Poniewaz twins, will take on team Chile who dominated their group match against China. The Germans have earned their respect from other teams after three games. At 4.55 p.m. one of the emerging favourites, Nicole and Megan McNamara from Canada, will try to advance to round three against the Czech team (Tereza Kotlasova/Daniela Resova). On the other courts, the playoffs for places 17 to 32 will take place with their own exciting quarter- and semi-finals.

Here are the pictures of the day.