The Sports Examiner

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: New contenders from Brazil and Russia showcased in Xiamen 4-star

Xiamen winners Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov (RUS) (Photo: FIVB)

Player combinations change all the time in beach volleyball, for all kinds of reasons. But two fairly new duos showed that they are contenders for high honors with impressive wins in the four-star tournament in Xiamen (CHN).

In the men’s tournament, Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov only got together at the end of last season. But they won their second World Tour tournament together with a 21-19, 21-13 victory over Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira (ESP) in the final.

Krasilnikov turned 28 on Sunday and is moving back into contention with Stoyanovskiy after he and Konstantin Semenov finished fourth in the Rio Games in 2016. Already in this new season, Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy were second in the four-star at Yangzhou (CHN) last October, then third at the Las Vegas four-star and won at The Hague in January, before Sunday’s victory. Five starts and four medals!

The women’s tournament was the third win of this season for the new Brazilian combo of Ana Patricia Silva Ramos and Rebecca Cavalcanti. They won a very hard fought two sets from Czechs Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova, 25-23, 26-24.

But it was a fifth straight top-four finish for this pair, who teamed up for part of the 2018 season, but are now on a roll:

● October: 1st in Qinzhou (CHN) ~ 3-star
● October: 2nd in Yangzhou (CHN) ~ 4-star
● October: 4th in Las Vegas (USA) ~ 4-star
● January: 1st in The Hague (NED) ~ 4-star
● April: 1st in Xiamen (CHN) ~ 4-star

It’s an impressive performance, especially as they got to the final by defeating no. 1-ranked Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson (CAN), 21-19, 21-17, in the quarterfinals.

The American pair of Sara Hughes and Summer Ross continued their strong play in China, placing in the top four again for the second time this season; they finished fourth to Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar. Summaries:

FIVB World Tour 4-star
Xiamen (CHN) ~ 23-28 April 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Oleg Stoyanvskiy/Viacheslav Krasilnikov (RUS); 2. Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira (ESP); 3. Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan (QAT); 4. Enrico Rossi/Adrian Carambula (ITA). Semis: Herrera/Gavira d. Cherif/Ahmed, 2-0; Stoyanovskiy/Krasilnikov d. Rossi/Carambula, 2-0. Third: Cherif/Ahmed d. Rossi/Carambula, 2-1. Final: Stoyanovskiy/Krasilnikov d. Herrera/Gavira, 2-0 (21-19, 21-13).

Women: 1. Ana Patricia Silva Ramos/Rebecca Cavalcanti (BRA); 2. Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova (CZE); 3. Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho del Solar (AUS); 4. Sara Hughes/Summer Ross (USA). Semis: Ana Patricia/Rebecca d. Hughes/Ross, 2-0; Hermannova/Slukova d. Clancy/Artacho del Solar, 2-0. Third: Clancy/Artacho del Solar d. Hughes/Ross, 2-0. Final: Ana Patricia/Rebecca d. Hermannova/Slukova, 2-0 (25-23, 26-24).

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