Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner advanced to the 2022 FIVB Beach World Championships semifinals with a three-set win over Robert Meeuwsen/Alexander Brouwer of the Netherlands.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 18, 2022) – The U.S. Beach National Team pair of Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner will play for third place at the 2022 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship after losing in the semifinals on Saturday.
The duo fell 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) to Brazil’s Vitor Araujo Goncalves Felipe/Renato Andrew Lima de Carvalho Saturday in a mostly clean game. The teams combined for only eight attack errors, and both posted a points percentage of at least 50. Vitor Felipe/Renato landed seven more attacks than Schalk/Brunner while the Americans enjoyed narrow leads in service aces and points off opponent errors.
“They played and served well, and we didn’t consistently put ourselves in good situations,” Brunner said. “We had lots of scoring opportunities in both sets that they defended really well. [It’s] frustrating because if we played our game, I really think we had a great shot to win. But that’s beach sometimes.”
Semifinal No. 2: Norway vs. Brazil
Mol/Sorum (NOR) vs. Andre/George (BRA) played in the other semifinal. Norway won, 2-0 (21-14, 21-18), so Schalk/Brunner will face Andre/George (BRA) at 8:15 a.m. Sunday, June 19 for bronze.
Schalk/Brunner never led in the match, but they kept in close contact with the Brazilians. They trailed by just one point at 19-18 in the second set, but Vitor Felipe found the sand to give Brazil two attempts at match point. Brunner landed an attack to fight off one match point, but Vitor Felipe again scored to clinch the win.
“We had some chances that we didn’t convert,” Schalk said. “We’ll be resting up and getting ready to bounce back in the bronze match tomorrow.”
Schalk/Brunner will now face either Norway’s Anders Mol/Christian Sorum or Brazil’s Andre Loyola Stein/George Souto Maior Wanderley for the bronze medal on Sunday, June 19 at 8:15 a.m. Pacific. Should they win, it’ll be the first American men’s medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships since Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers claimed bronze in 2009.