Big win for McHugh and Schumann to open World Championships


Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann posted the only men’s seed-break-through win here Saturday as the Australians upset 14th-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin of Russia in a pool play match at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.

Seeded 35th and playing in Pool K with Rio 2016 Olympic silver medal winners Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy, McHugh and Schumann posted a 2-0 (21-19, 23-21) win in 39 minutes over Stoyanovskiy/Yarzutkin, the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic gold medal winners.

"We know the Russians very well even though they are young," Schumann said.

"They beat Alison and Bruno (of Brazil) last week in Poland. They are very good so we are happy to get the win.

"It doesn’t get any easier with Italy next. We had a really close game with them in Russia (three-set win by Australia). Anything can happen any day you just have to go for it. We’ll rest and learn what we can from this game and try and tighten it up for the next game.”

McHugh said the win should make the Australians more relaxed.

"It was the first game for us, against Russia, it’s obviously a great venue here on the Danube," McHugh said.

"We’ve got a tough pool here, we’ve got Italy tomorrow, second in the Olympics. It’s always good to start with a win, it takes bit of the mental pressure off, and lets you free up a bit mentally."

Lupo and Nicolai, who will be challenged by the Australians Monday, opened world championship play Saturday by posting a 2-0 (21-7, 21-8) win in 22 minutes over 38th-seeded African qualifiers Abubakarr Kamara/Patrick Lombie of Sierra Leone.
 
The Italians have played McHugh and Schumann once of the FIVB World Tour, with the Aussies winning a three-set elimination match over Lupo and Nicolai at the Moscow Open June 2.
 
Both the Australian women's teams, Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy, and Nicole Laird and Jessyka Ngauamo, will be in action on Sunday.