Ulsan, Korea, July 21, 2017 – Pairs from Thailand and USA will go face to face in the grand final of the women-only one-star Ulsan stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2017. Top-seeded Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee and third-seeded Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen stayed unbeaten on Korean sand on Friday and will play for the gold at the beautiful Jinha Beach on Saturday.
Another Thai duo, fifth-seeded Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak, and seventh-seeded Shaunna Marie Polley and Kelsie Wills from New Zealand made the bronze medal match.
The longest and the most interesting match on Friday’s programme was between Polley and Kelsie and second-seeded Victoria Palmer and Jessica Grimson from England in the quarterfinals. After 47 minutes of play time, the team from the Pacific completed a comeback from a set down to stamp a 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-13) victory and advance to the semifinals. This was the only match of the day that ended with a tie-break.
New Zealand’s Shaunna Marie Polley stays focused during match against England
The New Zealanders could not repeat their exploit in the semis and conceded a 0-2 (16-21, 15-21) loss to Flint and Larsen, who had previously shut out Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock in an all-American quarterfinal.
Radarong and Udomchavee also went through a couple of straight-set wins on Friday – 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) against the other pair from New Zealand, Julia Tilley and Alice Bain, and 2-0 (21-12, 21-11) against their Thai compatriots Numwong and Hongpak – to qualify for the gold medal match.
The bronze medal match on Saturday is scheduled for 14:00 local time, to be followed by the final. Both games will be streamed live on the FIVB's YouTube channel