Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2012 - While the Polish men’s Beach Volleyball players gather most of the attention for their accomplishments on the youth, junior and senior world circuits, Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska have quietly become a force for the European country in the sport.
As the first women’s team to represent their country in the Olympic Beach Volleyball competition, Brzostek and Kolosinska have taken advantage of the opportunity as the Polish pair has won their first two matches in the Rio 2016 “Summer” Games after posting a 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) win in 43 minutes over London 2012 participants Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova of Russia here Tuesday mid-day.
With the two wins, Brzostek and Kolosinska also improved their Copacabana record to 7-2 as the Poles captured a silver medal at mid-March’s Rio Grand Slam stop on the FIVB World Tour. While Brzostek and Kolosinska dropped the Rio GS finale to Americans April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak claimed the gold medal on Copacabana by defeating Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg of Brazil.
In winning their second international match over the Russia in a two-week period, Brzostek and Kolosinska only trailed twice in their sixth meeting with Birlova and Ukolova. The series is tied between the two teams at 3-3 as the Poles defeated Birlova and Ukolova July 27 in a pool match at the AI Major Klagenfurt in Austria.
Birlova and Ukolova, the last team to qualify for Rio via the FIVB Continental Cup Finals last month in Sochi, Russia, scored the first points against the Poles in each set. Brzostek and Kolosinska broke from a 17-17 tie in the first set to score four of the last six points.
In the second set, the Poles held four-point leads at 15-11, 17-13 and 18-14 before the Russia cut the lead to one at 18-17. Brzostek and Kolosinska each scored points to gain a 20-18 edge and won it on a Russian service error.
Pool A play continues Tuesday with top-seeded Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca playing Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat of the United States. Brzostek and Kolosinska defeated the Americans Sunday for their first win while Russia suffered their first Rio setback by losing to Talita and Larissa.
The group finishes its schedule Thursday with Brzostek and Kolosinska playing Talita and Larissa in the first-ever match between the two teams. The Americans meet the Russians in the other match.