Acapulco, Mexico, October 25, 2006 - Only two of the top-eight teams for this week’s US$400,000 Corona Open on the Playa Tamarindos advanced from the women’s SWATCH-FIVB World tour qualifier to the Main Draw.
A pair of French teams survived the “upset” bids in the 27-team women’s Qualification Tournament as fourth-seeded Morgane Faure/Virginie Sarpaux and sixth-seeded Deborah Giaoui/Eva Hamzaoui gained spot in Thursday’s opening Main Draw rounds.
A pair of German teams also advanced to the “money” rounds in the 14th of 15 women’s events on the 2006 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour along with tandems from Belgium, Latvia, Spain and the United States as the international Beach Volleyball event returns to Acapulco for the second-straight October.
With a pair of wins each Wednesday, Germany will now have four teams in the Main Draw after qualifying victories by 10th-seeded Geeske Banck/Suzanne Lahme and 12th-seeded Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig Wednesday.
Goller and Ludwig, the reigning German national champions, also had to win a country quota match Tuesday before winning twice Wednesday, including a 21-15 and 21-19 victory over fifth-seeded Chiaki Kusuhara and Mika Teru Saiki of Japan. It was Goller and Ludwig’s fourth advancement from a SWATCH qualifier this season.
Three higher-seeded teams from Japan were also eliminated in the final round of the qualifier by teams from Germany (Goller/Ludwig), Latvia (Ninth-seeded Inese Jursone/Inguna Minusa) and the United States (16th-seeded Dianne DeNecochea/Holly McPeak).
DeNecochea and McPeak had the “toughest” road to the Main Draw as the Americans had to win a pair of country quota matches Tuesday to gain a spot in the 27-team qualifier where they posted two victories Wednesday, including a 21-11 and 21-14 decision over top-seeded Eiko Koizumi and Shinako Tanaka of Japan. DeNecochea and McPeak will be the fourth American team in the Main Draw.
Nadia Campisi and Clara Lozano earned their third trip to a SWATCH Main Draw in their last six international starts as the 14th-seeded Spaniards ousted a third French team in the qualifier (third-seeded Tatiana Barrera and Virginie Kadjo).
Eighteenth-seeded Liesbeth Mouha and Liesbet Van Breedam of Belgium gained a Main Draw berth for the third-straight event by upsetting second-seeded Marie-Andree Lessard and Sarah Maxwell of Canada 10-21, 23-21 and 15-6.
The women’s Corona Open concludes Sunday when the final two teams compete for the $32,000 first-place prize. The final 2006 women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event is next week in Phuket, Thailand as the men end their season Saturday on the Playa Tamarindos with the medal matches.