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Borger and Buthe seeking continued improvement in Gstaad

Karla Borger (left) and Britte Buther won two from two as women's pool play started at the Gstaad Grand Slam
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 9, 2014 – With one FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medal under their belt in 2014 Britta Buthe and Karla Borger showed that they are in the mood for more as the Gstaad Grand Slam women’s main draw got underway on Wednesday. 

The German pair started off with a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 19-17) win over their compatriots Chantal Laboureur and Anni Schumacher and then followed up by defeating Poland’s Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska 2-0 (21-12, 21-16).

“We struggled a little bit in the first set against our German colleagues, but I think we were happy to come out with a win as that is what counts,” Buthe said. “Then we prepared really well and came out well for this game against the Polish.”

The pair made their breakthrough in 2013 when they raced to final of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, Mazury 2013 before their run was halted by the favourites Chen Xue and Zhang Xi of China. 

Despite the defeat they had well and truly made their mark on the World Tour and this year they won their first Tour medal with bronze in front of their home fans in Berlin. However, they have reached the quarterfinals of tournaments five times in 2014, something they are aiming to remedy, starting in Gstaad. 

“We have to be more consistent,” Borger said. “We have shown we can play really good games and we have shown that we can beat anybody, but when you want to be consistently reaching the semis and finals we have to do a little more and that is what we hope to do in the coming tournaments. 

“Some of it is experience, but the rest is practice and hard work and we have a great coach (Srdjan Veckov) now and we are working on many, many things and working towards our aims.”

Liliana and Baquerizo out to match Stavanger best

Stavanger Grand Slam silver medallists Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo meanwhile bounced back from losing their opening match against the Czech Republic’s Martina Bonnerova and Barbora Hermannova to end the day with a victory.

The Spanish pair defeated Stavanger bronze medallists Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova of Slovakia 2-0 (21-9, 21-16).

“I think we started the tournament a bit nervous and not fully focused because the Tour stopped for a week and we felt it,” Liliana said. “We’re having to go week by week and are just getting into the competition.”

Liliana and Elsa enjoyed their best World Tour result in Stavanger, where they were stopped from completing a dream run by the USA’s April Ross and Kerri Walsh.
Over the rest week they have been back with friends and family in Spain, while Liliana also had to sit university exams at University of La Laguna in Tenerife. Nonetheless their finish in Stavanger has given them new confidence and means their expectations are a little higher. 

“We really like playing semifinals and finals so we really want to go for that and even if we don’t reach it we fight for it every single tournament,” Baquerizo said. 

“This tournament is past and you have to ready for the next one because it is a really short season,” Liliana added. “We need to be ready every week.”

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