2017-08-04 12:53:00 CEST
Reigning Olympic and world champions lost to Saxton/Schalk
Defending champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt could only hold their hands up and praise the better team after they crashed out of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 to Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk.
The Brazilians were left frustrated by their own performance on the Red Bull Beach Arena, Vienna, with just the slightest lapse of concentration punished by a thoroughly impressive Canadian team.
The current world and Olympic title-holders had possessed an 8-1 head-to-head record against Saxton/Schalk, but it was one that looked in danger after losing the first set 21-19.
They quickly bounced back and had momentum behind them when levelling the game at 1-1, only for consistency to abandon them – slipping out in the round-of-16 after a third set.
“I have to say Canada deserved the win, they played really well but at the same time we struggled even when we were in the lead,” said Alison.
“We came back in the second set but in the third we could not build up a constant game and that is why we lost the match.
“It’s a difficult year for us as a team, there are positive things we have to take from this because we still have to learn from this and grow as a team.
“I had a lot of blocks, but the aim of the game is to win, and I didn’t do enough to let Bruno do his job or for the team to do ours – that’s the consequence and we have lost.”
Used to winning all around the world, Alison/Bruno have found the going tough this season, with this their third successive ninth-place finish in major competition.
The gruelling nature of the ten-day tournament was not to work in their favour, as the striking Viennese heat eventually caught up with them in a sapping game lasting more than an hour.
It therefore proved a tough defeat to take for a team whose winning record had become a habit, disappointed that their star performance eluded them at the wrong time.
Bruno added: “The Canadians started the third set way better than us, then it was just side-out, side-out and a lot of mistakes from us, it’s so frustrating.
“The way we played, they saved energy a lot better than we did, they didn’t push the service and in those conditions they saved more than us and that was very important.
“They played smarter than we did.
“We played some up and down volleyball, we had a tough match yesterday and when you have a match like this, it doesn’t always help you in the rest of the tournament.”
Can Saxton/Schalk continue their path to glory? You can watch them in quarterfinal action on Saturday, live and for free on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!
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