2017-08-04 12:36:00 CEST
Canadians dump out reigning Olympic and World champions
The head-to-head score before Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk took on Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt was 8-1 in the favour of the Brazilians.
But, as our blogger Ben quite rightly pointed out afterwards, the next match is always the most important.
It might have been a cliché but he was absolutely spot on. The Canadians recorded a fantastic 21-19, 19-21, 15-13 victory to advance to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 quarterfinals, knockout the Olympic and World Champions and, more importantly, make that head-to-head score 8-2…
“This is our second time in the quarters at the worlds and we’ve just beaten the reigning Olympic and world champs so I’d say that’s up there with the best of my career,” said an exhausted Saxton afterwards. “We just needed to keep siding out, stay steady and keep picking up a point here and there. That was the key.”
Schalk, who won the crucial final point in a gripping final set, was thrilled to end a run of six successive defeats against their Brazilian rivals.
“I knew it was 8-1 but in a lot of those games it’s been really tight,” said the defender. “A lot of those games have 15-13 in the third and, as Ben said, they will never stop coming at you. The key is when you lose long rallies to put that beside you and focus on the next point and we did that.
“They kept coming to me and I like that. We know that we’re one of the most consistent sideout teams and if we can that right we can beat anybody.
“I’m confident most of the time and in the final set we just relaxed and played our game. I just wanted to see that ball.”
Next up for the triumphant Canadians is another team from Brazil – Andre Loyola and Evandro Goncalves, who secured a straight sets victory over Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins. You can watch that live on BeachStream on Saturday, so make sure you sign-up here! It’s free!
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