Ulsan, Korea, July 20, 2017 – Brazil’s Eunyce Martins Vercosa and Camila Ortiz Habowski, the bottom-seeded team at the women-only one-star Ulsan stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2017, put up quite a fight against the #1 team in the main draw, Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee from Thailand, before losing the longest match of the first competition day at Korea’s Jinha Beach.
Radarong and Udomchavee made the quarterfinals after 57 minutes of play and a hard-earned 2-1 (21-23, 21-13, 15-12) victory over the South American tandem.
In the only other three-setter on Thursday, sixth-seeded Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock from USA took 51 minutes to overcome the resistance of Denmark’s Cecilie Kollner Olsen and Laerke Mygind Gronfeldt, seeded ninth, and claim a 2-1 (21-9, 22-24, 15-11) win.
Great save by USA’s Amanda Dowdy
The only pair that managed to break the seeding were Japan’s Sayaka Mizoe and Suzuka Hashimoto with #13, who cruised to a 2-0 (21-7, 21-7) shutout of fourth-seeded Ka-Yeon Kim and Hyunji Kim from the host country in what as the shortest match of the day, lasting 27 minutes.
Japan’s Mizoe and Hashimoto celebrate during their match against Korea’s Ka-Yeon and Hyunji
All other better-seeded teams – England's Victoria Palmer and Jessica Grimson, USA's Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen, Thailand's Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak and two duos from New Zealand - Shaunna Marie Polley and Kelsie Wills and Julia Tilley and Alice Bain – mastered 2-0 victories and qualified for Friday’s quarters, with the consequence that two of last week’s semifinalists from the stop in Daegu – bronze medallists Katerina Valkova and Diana Zolnercikova from the Czech Republic and fourth-placed Lisa Arnholdt and Leonie Welsch from Germany – got knocked out of contention in Ulsan