Myslowice, Poland, May
18, 2011 – Two-time US Olympic champion Kerri Walsh, participating in
the qualification phase on the FIVB Swatch World Tour for the first time
in her career, successfully progressed with new partner Brittany
Hochevar with two victories at the Myslowice Open on Wednesday.
I have a lot of respect for the girls who do this week in, week out, it is do or die, all or nothing - Walsh said
number eight seeds in qualifying beat the Netherlands’ Marielle Kloek
and Merel Mooren, ranked 25th from country quota, 21-15, 21-11 and 24th
ranked Wang Fan and Ma Yuanyuan of China 21-14, 21-19 to seal a place in
the 32-team main draw, which starts Thursday.
An injury to
Walsh’s Olympic champion partner Misty May-Treanor in Sanya saw the
32-year-old three-time world champion partner Hochevar in their first
Swatch World Tour tournament together in Myslowice.
really stressful, I have a lot of respect for the girls who do this week
in, week out, it is do or die, all or nothing,” Walsh, who has won 32 titles on the Swatch World Tour since making her debut in 2001, said. “I’m really
enjoying it though, I’m treating it as great preparation for the World
Championships where the Main Draw is sudden death. It’s like the first
game at the Olympic Games where every match is on the line.”
have to give credit to Brittany who has been superb. We have great
communication, combination and want to win and they are three things
that will take us far in this tournament.”
“This says a lot about
Kerri Walsh as a competitor and a warrior,” Hochevar, who has a best
place finish of 17th from six tournaments since making her debut on the
Swatch World Tour in 2009, said. “It’s dog eat dog and now we’re finding
our tempo and settings I can see that this is going to be lots of fun.”
Dampney/Shauna Mullin, seeded 16th in qualifying, caused the upset of
the day by knocking Finnish sisters Erika and Emilia Nystrom out of the
tournament in a tight three-set match. The British pairing beat the top
seeds in qualifying 22-20, 18-21, 15-12.
“We had a good
tournament in Shanghai (the 13th place finish was Dampney and Mullin’s
second best result on the Swatch World Tour after a ninth place finish
at Kristiansand in 2009) and we went home and put in work to consolidate
how we want to play our game,” Mullin said.
“We were disciplined
with our block defence,” Dampney added. “We were putting our all into
the crucial points at the end of the sets. We’re looking long term and
think we have a chance of a top three position at the London Olympics.
On our day we can do anything.”
Both Brazil and USA are the best
represented nations in the main draw, which starts on Thursday at 10:00
(local time), with four teams each. Brazil’s Talita and Antonelli are
top seeds, followed by defending world champions Jen Kessy and April
Ross from the United States and China’s Xue and Zhang Xi.
For more info contact FIVB Media Operations Delegate: Richard Baker