Sydney, Australia, November 23, 2017 – Duos from Canada, China, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and USA progressed from Thursday’s qualifications at the Sydney two-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour to claim spots in the women’s main draw.
With several byes in the first qualification round, only two of the six qualifying teams had to play more than one match on Manly Beach to advance to Friday’s main draw play.
Japan’s Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori mastered a 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) win against Australia’s Sarah Battaglene and Stefanie Weiler in the first round and then cruised to a speedy 2-0 (21-9, 21-9) shutout of China’s Xinxin Wang and Lvwen Yuan to become the first team progressing from the qualification tournament to the main draw. However, the Chinese pair also move forward as “lucky losers”.
It was more difficult for Slovenia’s Tjasa Jancar and Tjasa Kotnik. In the first round they had to fight their way back from a set down against Slovakia’s Lucia Michalovicova and Iveta Kosova to claim a 2-1 (21-23, 21-13, 15-8) victory. Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska and Agata Ceynowa proved less of an obstacle for the Slovenes as Jancar and Kotnik booked their main draw spot with a 2-0 (21-10, 21-18) straight-setter.
The only tie-breaker in the decisive second round was played between Canada’s Megan Nagy and Marie-Christine Lapointe and Austria’s Eva Freiberger and Elisabeth Klopf. Having won their first-round match in three sets, the Austrians could not repeat their feat against the Canadians, as Nagy and Lapointe battled to a 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-7) win in what proved to be the longest running women’s match of the day.
Starting play directly from the second round, USA's Jace Pardon and Lara Dykstra, Poland's Aleksandra Gromadowska and Katarzyna Kociolek and Latvia's Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina hammered out straight-set victories over their opponents and moved forward in the competition.
Australia’s Justine Mowen spikes during the three-set match against Austria
Similar to their male compatriots the day before, the Australian women failed to increase their presence in the main draw in Sydney. All four pairs from the host country lost their first-round matches. The home fans on Manly Beach will still have four seeded Aussie duos to cheer for as main draw action gets underway on Friday.