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2017-07-30 14:27:00 CEST

Pedlow loving villain role

The Canadians upset Austria in a three-set epic on the Red Bull Beach Arena

When the Austrians are in town, Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter are well aware they are the villains of the show.

But when it comes to playing on Red Bull Beach Arena in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1, the Canadian pair don’t mind one bit. In fact, they absolutely love it.

That was definitely evident on Sunday afternoon as Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz lined up on the opposite side of the net, with the vocal Viennese support in no doubt about where their allegiances lay.

Unfortunately for them it wasn’t to be on this occasion as Pedlow and Schachter took the spoils, but that wasn’t before being forced into a third and final set against the Austrian duo – a battle Pedlow in particular knew was always on the cards.

“I can’t thank the Austrian fans enough for their support, they are fans of volleyball not just Austrian volleyball, they appreciate the big players and it’s a good feeling," he said.

“They carried both teams through the heat in that game, and there’s a big thanks to Vienna for that.

“But playing against the Austrians makes us the villains, it’s a huge motivator and we love that! We got given the black jersey which was pretty fitting, but they are a team we love playing against, they’re a good physical team and it made for a really good game.

“We knew it would be a battle of who could outlast each other, the crowd got them through that second set but we managed to play our game. We’re not often the villain but I love it. If you’re not going to be the hometown hero then that’s the best way to get the emotion out of the crowd.

“It’s not a bad place to be.”

On a more significant note, it gave the duo their second win of the competition, securing them a place in the knockout stages – giving them more time in front of the Austrian crowd in the process.

They now go on to face Spain as both teams defend their 100 per cent records in the competition.

But with the Spanish having won four sets out of four, the Canadians will have work to do to topple them and top Pool I.

In Adrian Gavira Collado and Pablo Herrera Allepuz, opponents with a degree of familiarity will meet them in the Viennese sun, with bragging rights certain to be on the line as both teams prepare for the latter stages.

“Spain will be a good contest, we’ve got a one win, one defeat record against them this year and played them just a couple of weeks ago in Long Beach so we do have that familiarity with them, but then they have the same with us,” added Pedlow.

“The goal is to build throughout the tournament and to keep getting better in every match that we play in, hopefully over a long period of time,” he said.

“This was a tougher test than we had in the first game, they pushed us all the way and we were able to get through that, it’s good preparation for our next game on Tuesday.

“We just focus on our side of the net, make sure we play good Canadian volleyball and hopefully that will be enough to win the game.”

You can watch Canada take on Spain on Monday at 12.30pm live for free on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!

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