World beach volley tourney key in development of sport locally
The U19 teams consisting of Daniel and Fabian Pfeifer, Kristin Schulz and Michaela Böhringer and the Coach, James Verrinder returned from the U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships held in Cyprus a fortnight ago.
The Championships were the first International experience for the athletes and it proved to be a very important step in their development as beach volleyball athletes.
Larnaka, Cyprus hosted the best 38 beach volleyball countries from around the world in a 5 day competition to become U19 World Champions 2016.
The ladies Namibian team of Michi and Kristin were in the main draw, round robin format, grouped with Ukraine, Germany and Norway; and the men of Daniel and Fabian were grouped with Ukraine, Australia and USA.
“We spent the first 3 days of our trip in Cyprus training with England, Cyprus, Latvia, Australian, Czech Republic & Iran teams to best prepare for the tournament,” Verrinder said.
Michi and Kristin played Ukraine first and started with a few nerves, but once they scored their first point they settled down and played some nice volleyball. In the second set they started a little better but the speed of Ukraine was very difficult to contain and the girls found it hard to find the sand with their shots, eventually losing the match 2:0.
The second game saw them take on Germany, but again the German champs from two years ago proved hard to beat, which saw the girls go down in both sets.
In their final match they faced Norway, who have always had a very good reputation in Ladies beach volleyball.
“They played with fearlessness, aggression, fight and determination and produced a stunning set of volleyball. But unfortunately it still wasn’t enough and they lost the second set 14:21 and the match,” he added.
Meanwhile, Daniel and Fabian started their first International competition against the Australians, but unfortunately the Aussies again proved too much to handle.
The second match for the pair saw them take on the Bronze medal winners for the U19 World Champs two years ago in Porto, Ukraine. The Ukraine boys, both around 195cm tall, used their height to their advantage in the first set and dominated the exchanges at the net, and eventually winning the match.
The final match for the twins saw them take on USA, who are one of the most successful countries in the world at beach volleyball. But at this tournament, they had also lost their first two matches and the boys felt they had a chance to take the win.
Unfortunately it was not meant to be as the USA stole the game and drowned Namibia’s dream of reaching the knock-out stages, which was a bitter blow to the boys who had performed so well in the first two matches.
Verrinder said, “I am so proud of the teams, they played with heart, skill and passion, and this is all you can ask from them at their first International tournament”.
According to him the trip was funded 100% by private sponsorship as they were faced with a huge financial challenge to travel to Cyprus.
For the two teams the various sponsors who made the trip possible included; main Sponsors – DTS Sports Club, Olympia Pharmacy & Retirement Fund Solutions. Supporting Sponsors – Word Press Namibia, SCE Consulting Engineers, Obeco, Electro Repairs & Office & Mailing Automation. Team Supporters: Jock & Nackie Pfeifer, Ditmar Gloeditzsch, Stein Service Station, Fabupharm, Transworld Tours & Travel, Pedaco Engineering, FX Fitness, Con Serv Engineering, VK Workshop, Global Parts Namibia, Zimmerman Garage, Classic Car Rental, Pedaco Engineering & Timeout Beach Volleyball Academy.