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Women’s Wednesday superlative at FIVB U17 World Championships

Mexico's Alejandra Tapia, left, and Daniela Torres started off with two pool play wins Wednesday during pool play at the FIVB U17 World Championships in Acapulco, Mexico
Acapulco, Mexico, July 16, 2014 — Relishing the opportunity to compete against fellow young stars of the sand from around the globe, and battling through dazzling sunshine, high temperatures with intense humidity and relentless competition, three women’s from three countries won both of their main draw pool play matches Wednesday during the opening day of the inaugural FIVB U17 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Acapulco, Mexico.

With all the athletes under 17 years old, unbeaten in the first two of four matches in their respective pools are women’s teams from host Mexico, Greece and Latvia.

A total of 29 women’s representing qualifiers from each of the five FIVB Confederations, have gathered at Playa Tamarindos in Acapulco Bay alongside of the glistening Pacific Ocean to chart history as they continue to challenge each other to determine the first FIVB U17 World Champions on Sunday.

Playing in the sand steps of FIVB World Tour stars who graced Playa Tamarindos three times previously for FIVB Open events, the FIVB U17 World Championships has women’s teams split into six pools for four round-robin matches within their respective pools. The top four teams from each pool, 24 teams, will then advance to the knockout, single-elimination rounds of the tournament to eventually lead to the first FIVB U17 titles.

Five women’s teams representing Mexico in the championships impressed their enthusiastic home country fans throughout the blistering day, compiling an impressive combined record of 5-2.

Mexico’s Citlali Padilla/Lucia Aguilera, both from Zacatecas, split their two matches.  Rocio Ramirez/Ana Aldape, both of Tamaulipas,  won their only match of the day while Daniela Torres, Mexico City/Alejandra Tapia, Estado de Mexico, won both of their matches and Acapulco’s own Martha Luna/Daniela Garcia split their two matches on Wednesday.

The Torres/Tapia duo opened play on center court that delighted Mexican fans as they needed just 24 minutes to defeat St. Lucia’s Nikita Greenidge/Skye Mondesir, 21-5, 21-4. Returning to center court for their second match Wednesday afternoon, Mexico’s Torres/Tapia toppled Costa Rica’s Lucia Gomez/Irene Gomez, 21-16, 21-6 in a 32-minute match.

Following her team’s second victory of the day, Tapia reflected, "It was a tough match. We played earlier today but this second round was harder. It is our first time at an international event but I feel well prepared. I've been playing beach volleyball just for three years, but indoor volleyball since I was like five years old! It is an honor to represent our country in the FIVB U17 World Championship."

Ramizez/Aldape won their only match of the day by defeating Russia’s Valeriia Shvedova/Alexandra Spineva, 21-14, 21-12 in 27 minutes.

Ramírez reflected following her team’s victory saying “This is our first international event and we are really excited to be here. We trained a lot for this event. That’s why even though we have been playing together for two years we feel pretty confident together, as a team. The only thing that was a little complicated for us was the height difference!”

Aldape somewhat echoed the sentiments of Ramirez, remarking, “Yeah, we prepared so much for this event, we were really excited. We trained for it months ahead with other national and regional events. Usually we train once a day, but a week before this match we even started training twice a day.”

Because their pool has four teams and the others have five each, Isis Comacho, Guasane/Olga Parra, Culican received a bye and did not play on Wednesday.

In addition to Mexico, other countries with two teams each in the women’s field are Australia, Russia and USA. On Wednesday’s opening day, the teams from Australia and Russia were both 1-3 while the USA’s tandems were 2-0.

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