On day one of the World Tour Finals the spectators in Curitiba and online saw victories for favorites as well as surprises. Tomorrow the teams will ultimately seal their spots in the semifinals.
Group A Men’s Championship
The teams Duque de Caxias, Froschberg, Swim&Sport Club and Tigers Vöcklabruck started into the tournament with a game each today. While Duque de Caxias took advantage of playing on their home field their opponents from the Swim&Sport Club New Jersey had difficulties finding solutions to the hard hit and well-placed balls from the Brazilians. After the first set ending 11:6 for Duque de Caxias the us-american team had a hard time finding back into the match. With a 3:0 Duque secured the first points in the rally for semifinal spots. The game between Froschberg and Vöcklabruck however was highly competitive. The European champion Vöcklabruck found themselves in a 0:2 disadvantage after losing the first sets 2:11 and 7:11. Tactical substitutions then brought the awaited change and the 2:2 tradeoff. In the decider it’s once again Froschberg who makes the key points and quite surprisingly takes home the first victory. For Team Froschberg a great outcome meaning another win will probably secure them a spot in the semifinals. For Vöcklabruck losing the first game means they will have to put in a lot of effort against Duque de Caxias and Swim&Sport Club to stay in the rally for the semifinals.
Group B Men’s Championship
In group B only the match between Pfungstadt and Stammheim took place on the first day. Playing in the pouring rain the attackers could show off their full power and scored in common-mode leading to a thight first set with a better ending for Stammheim. In set number two it’s Pfungstadt who reaches the two point difference and takes home the set. Only in set number three Pfungstadt can really live up to their potential and defend several serves to get the 2:1 lead. The last set then once again dominated by serve with Patrick Thomas scoring the matchball for Pfungstadt, who are now one win closer to the semifinals.
Due to the suspension of a player of Novo Hamburgo at short notice by the IFA Tribunal the technical delegation of the event decided to postpone the match of Ginastica Novo Hamburgo and AWN TV Enns to Saturday 9:00am.
Group A Women’s Championship
The women’s teams from group A had to play the first and second match of the preliminary round today and managed to do so despite the pouring rain. Starting off with the rematch of 2019th Finalists from Porto Alegre and Dennach the spectators got to see fistball at its finest. The south brasilian team wins set number one quite clearly but has trouble closing set number two at a 10:5 lead. Dennach with a strong performance managing to secure 7 points in a row and winning set number 2. But Sogipa gets a hold of the game again and makes the key points to win the match 3:1. In the first match on court two between TV Jahn Schneverdingen and Clube Manquehue the defending European champion had difficulties defending the strong service from the Chilean attackers. After losing the first set the german team copes better with the conditions and can secure a 3:1 victory. In the german-internal match Dennach was putting it all in against Jahn Schneverdingen, who as well was eager to secure the second victory of the day. The wet conditions lead to a very tight game from start to finish. In the first as well as the second set both teams fought for each and every point leading to two sets ending 15:13 both times with the luckier end for TV Jahn Schneverdingen. After losing two sets this close Dennach had a hard time keeping track in set number three and had to accept a 0:3 loss in their second game. Schneverdingen however takes home the second win of the day and therefore qualifies for semifinals. Sogipa who beat the defending champion Dennach in their first game, really pulled off a performance against Manquehue knowing that a victory would also secure them a spot in semifinals. From point number one on the Porto Alegre Team was on fire and forced their game on the Chilean team, who fought back but ultimately had to surrender. With a 3:0 the Sogipa girls ended the day with two out of two wins and reached semifinals.
In the match between the two qualified teams from Sogipa and Schneverdingen they will determine the group’s first rank.
Group B Women’s Championship
Clube Duque de Caxias started into the championship against their Brazilian counterpart Clube Novo Hamburgo and impressed spectators as well as the Novo Hamburgo Team with a magnificent first set which they won 11:3. After also winning a little tighter second set the Duque Girls once again showed all their technical skills to take home a well-earned 3:0 victory. On court number two the Austrian champion Union Nussbach manages to get in front early in all three sets. Kellinghusen with difficulties on the first ball is not able to get a hold of the game and must start the championship with a 0:3 loss, while Nussbach sets the first milestone on their way to semifinals. Due to heavy rain the matches between Nussbach and Duque de Caxias as well as Kellinghusen and Novo Hamburgo have been postponed and will take place tomorrow morning 08:30am UTC-3. As Duque de Caxias and Nussbach already managed to win their first games another victory would with high probability lead to a spot in the semifinals, where Schneverdingen and Sogipa are already waiting for their opponents.