Elite16 - João Pessoa, BRA - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Perusic/Schweiner (CZE) vs. Cottafava/Nicolai (ITA) - Quarterfinals #8294002

Italy’s Paolo Nicolai & Samuele Cottafava delivered the big upset of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Joao Pessoa Elite16 quarterfinals on Saturday, knocking out recently crowned world champions Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner and advancing to Sunday’s semifinals, where they will face Stefan Boermans & Yorick de Groot of the Netherlands. In the other men’s semifinal, home favourites Andre Stein & George Wanderley will take on Swedish jump-setters David Ahman & Jonatan Hellvig.

In the duels for the spots in the women’s final on Sunday, Brazilians Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) & Ana Patricia Ramos and Barbara Seixas & Carol Solberg will take on China’s Xue Chen & Xia Xinyi and USA’s Taryn Kloth & Kristen Nuss, respectively.

· Watch the Joao Pessoa Elite16 main draw live on VBTV.

Fifth-seeded Nicolai & Cottafava, who had finished Pool D runners-up on a 1-2 win-loss record, started Saturday’s competition day in Joao Pessoa with a convincing eighthfinal victory over Austria’s Julian Horl & Alexander Horst to face Czechia’s Perusic & Schweiner in the quarterfinals. The top-seeded world champions recovered from losing a tight first set by narrowly winning the second and pushing the match to a tie-breaker. However, the Italians dominated the third set to prevail for a win and advance to the semis. Cottafava led the team with 23 points, including three aces and a kill block. Nicolai contributed another 21, including two aces and three blocks, while Schweiner raised five kill blocks to finish on a match-high 25 points for the Czechs.

The Italians’ opponents in one of Sunday’s semifinals, starting at 10:00 local time (13:00 UTC), also went through two playoff matches on Saturday. Eighth-seeded Dutchmen Boermans & De Groot, who had finished pool runners-up to Perusic & Schweiner, hammered out a eighthfinal upset of third-seeded Poles Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak. In the quarterfinals, they came back from a set down against former world’s number one team, Qatari qualifiers Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan, to celebrate a victory.

Second-seeded Ahman & Hellvig continued their winning streak from Pool B into the quarterfinals, but it was the third match in a row they had to win in a tie-breaker third set. Against the fourth-seeded home pairing of Evandro Oliveira & Arthur Mariano, the Swedes came back from a set down to celebrate a win. At 11:00 (14:00) on Sunday, they will take on another Brazilian duo, 11th-seeded George & Andre, who extended their victory streak from pool play to the quarterfinals with a sweep of their game against 16th-seeded qualifiers, fellow Brazilians Adrielson Dos Santos & Arthur Da Silva, with six kill blocks from Andre.

Among the teams that reached the women’s semifinals, only Carol & Barbara had to go through two playoff games on Saturday. The fifth-seeded Brazilians, who had narrowly made the eighthfinals by finishing third in Pool D on a 1-2 win-loss record, mastered a shutout of compatriots Taina Bigi & Victoria Lopes, and then backed it up with a victory over sixth-seeded Germans Cinja Tillmann & Svenja Muller. Carol chipped in five aces and three kill blocks towards that win, while Barbara came up with a match-high 19 points.

On Sunday at 08:00 (11:00), Carol & Barbara will lock horns with mighty Nuss & Kloth. The second-seeded Americans continued their march through the Joao Pessoa main draw without dropping a set. In the quarterfinals, they produced their fourth consecutive straight-set victory, over French qualifiers Lezana Placette & Alexia Richard.

Meanwhile, top-seeded Duda & Ana Patricia engaged in a hard-fought duel with third-seeded Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands and managed their third three-set victory in Joao Pessoa, pleasing the home crowd with a success. Their opponents in Sunday’s semifinal at 09:00 (12:00), fourth-seeded Xue & Xia, also battled through three sets in their quarterfinal against Latvia’s Anastasija Samoilova & Tina Graudina to progress undefeated in the tournament. The Chinese duo celebrated a hard-fought win with the help of five kill blocks from Xue and four aces from Xia.

The afternoon programme in Joao Pessoa will offer the four medal matches. The women’s third-place game will start at 14:00 local time (17:00 UTC), followed by the men’s bronze medal match at 15:00 (18:00). The battle for the women’s gold is set to begin at 16:00 (19:00) and the men’s showdown at 17:00 (20:00) will close the event.