The last month has not gone to Michał Bryl and Bartosz Losiak’s liking, but everything changed on Sunday when the Poles won the Challenge tournament played in Espinho, Portugal, and became the first team to win gold in three different Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour events.
The Tokyo Olympians came under heavy attack from Austrians Martin Ermacor and Moritz Pristauz in the gold medal match at Praia da Baia, but their experience proved to be the deciding factor in a 2-1 (17-21, 21-13, 15-11) victory. Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins completed the European podium in Portugal.
Partners from the start of the season, 27-year-old Bryl and 30-year-old Losiak started the inaugural Beach Pro Tour season by winning gold in their first tournament, the Tlaxcala Challenge, in March and repeating the feat two months later at the Doha Challenge.
However, the level of their performances has dropped in recent weeks, with both Poles entering the Espinho event with one win in their last six matches and disappointing 37th and 25th places at the Beach Volleyball World Championships and Gstaad Elite16 respectively.
The two teams collected points for most of the first set, but two consecutive errors by Bryl gave the Austrians a relatively comfortable lead at 16-13. Ermarcora and Pristauz did a great job of keeping it going until the end and brought the set to a close at 21-17 when Bryl served out.
The second set also had its turning point, which came when Bryl was blocked on consecutive plays, which helped his team build an 8-4 lead. The Austrians managed to reduce the loss to two points at 9-7, but the Poles took control again, increased the lead to 16-9 and won the set 21-13 thanks to Losiak’s shot.
By the end, the tie-break was unresolved. However, thanks to Losiak’s great defensive play, the Poles started hot in the last part of the set, winning five of the last six points and winning 15-11 when Pristauz served into the net.
Para Michał Bryl/Bartosz Łosiak wygrywają turniej Beach Pro Tour Challenge w Espinho! ?
natomiast czwarte miejsce w turnieju zajmuje para Piotr Kantor/Maciej Rudol
— POLSKA SIATKÓWKA (@PolskaSiatkowka) July 17, 2022