Israel, Romania top men’s podium in Malta

2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup

Mellieha, Malta, September 21, 2014.  Israel and Romania booked the two third round spots in the men’s 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup available from the second round’s Pool C, played in Malta.
On a particularly hot and humid first competition day at Golden Bay in Mellieha, San Marino defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina in the only first-round match-up to lose to Israel in the second round.  With two victories to one, Romania sent neighboring Moldova to the losers’ bracket where the Moldovans lost again, this time to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The second day opened with a hot, foggy morning only to provide a bright sunny day.  In the two semifinal match-ups, Israel shut out Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania overpowered San Marino to advance to both the next round and to the final match-up in Mellieha, in which the Mediterranean side cruised to two straight-set wins over its opponent from the Balkans.

Bosnia and Herzegovina 1, San Marino 2

The first game saw Bosnia and Herzegovina’s pair Drago Teodorovic / Nenad Sormaz beat Andrea Lazzarini / Federico Tentoni from San Marino by 2:0.  However, Lorenzo Benvenuti / Ivo Valentini from San Marino put up an impressive display to beat Luca Sormaz / Nemanja Bozic by 2:0 after a tight close first set – 21-19.  The golden match saw Benvenuti / Valentini take the upper hand to beat the Teodorovic / Bozic combo by 2:0 with both sets won narrowly by 21-19.
Romania 2, Moldova 1
Adrian Holhos / Moisa Abrudan from Romania managed to beat the Moldovan pair Roman Dudicov / Anton Voleanin by 2:0 with a decisive close 23-21 win in the first set.  Iulian Cravet / Marin Cojocaru of Moldova, however, had the upper hand in the second match beating Marius Maskovits / Daniel Todoran by 2:0 with a close 23-21 in the final set.  In the golden match, Holhos / Abrudan managed to beat Cravet / Cojocaru by 2:0.

Israel 2, San Marino 0

Israel’s pair Sean Faiga / Ariel Hilman were in impressive form to give no chance to Andrea Lazzarini / Federico Tentoni from San Marino beating them by 2:0 (21-6, 21-5).  Alon Sanderovich / Netanel Ohana from Israel completed the win against Lorenzo Benvenuti / Ivo Valentini by another straight-set victory – 2:0 (21-19, 21-12).

Bosnia and Herzegovina 2, Moldova 0

In the final clash of the day, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s pair Drago Teodorovic / Nenad Sormaz managed to beat Roman Dudicov / Anton Voleanin from Moldova by 2:1 after the Moldovan pair managed to fight back in the second set to draw 1:1.  In the second game, Luca Sormaz / Nemanja Bozic completed the win over Moldova with a 2:0 against Iulian Cravet / Marin Cojocaru.
Israel 2, Bosnia and Herzegovina 0
In the first match Sean Faiga / Ariel Hilman maintained their unbeatable start to win by 2:0 against Luca Sormaz / Nemanja Bozic by 2:0 (21-18, 21-14).  In the second match, Alon Sanderovich / Netanel Ohana maintained their impressive form to beat Drago Teodorovic / Nenad Sormaz by 2:0 (21-9, 21-11).  With well-placed attacks and very good defense, Sanderovich / Ohana never allowed the Bosnia-Herzegovina pair time to settle.
Ariel Hilman, player of Israel:  “The hot and humid conditions made it very difficult for our team and we had to work hard to beat our opponents.”
Romania 2, San Marino 1

The second semifinal was a tight clash.  The first game saw Adrian Holhos / Moisa Abrudan win by 2:0 (21-10, 21-18) against Andrea Lazzarini / Federico Tentoni.  Holhos / Abrudan started the game quite aggressively, managed to take the set by 21-10 and never allowed their opponents time to settle.  The second set was more balanced, but Holhos / Abrudan still maintained their narrow lead to close the game.  Marius Maskovits / Daniel Todoran started their match impressively winning the first set by 21-12.  Lorenzo Benvenuti / Ivo Valentini were not put off by their performance in the first set and raced quickly to open a good lead and with well-placed spikes and good reception managed to level the game at 1:1 and win the third set by 15-10.  In the final clash, Holhos / Abrudan managed to beat Benvenuti / Valentini by 2:1.  The first two sets were very tight with the Romanian pair taking the first by 21-19, only for the Sammarinese pair to fight back to 1:1 in a nail-biting 23-21.  However, both Holhos and Abrudan managed to win important points with some well-placed spikes to close at 15-9.

Moisa Abrudan, player of Romania:  “We are very happy to reach the final.”
Israel 2, Romania 0
Sean Faiga / Ariel Hilman never allowed time for their opponents to settle winning the first set by 21-15. Marius Maskovits / Daniel Todoran tried to put some pressure on their opponents, but with Hillman in good form, the Israeli team stepped up a gear to complete a 2:0 win with the second set won by 21-9.  The first set of the second game was quite close with the Israeli pair Alon Sanderovich / Netanel Ohana maintaining a narrow lead throughout the set, In the end, with some good blocks from Ohana, the Israeli pair managed to beat Adrian Holhos / Moisa Abrudan by 21-15.  Holhos / Abrudan started the second set more brightly taking a 3-0 lead.  However, the Israeli duo maintained its concentration levels to win by 21-16.
Ariel Hilman, player of Israel:  “I am satisfied with the win, but we were made to work hard given the hot and humid conditions.”
Netanel Ohana, player of Israel:  “I am happy that my team managed to win the tournament without losing a set.  The tournament was big fun and played on a beautiful island.”
Moisa Abrudan, player of Romania:  “We are happy with our performance and the team is happy to achieve its goal of reaching the final.”