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Friday rebound for top women’s Dela Beach Open seeds

With the sun setting on the outside court at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark, Brazilians Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa and Agatha Bednarczuk celebrate a point during their second win Friday over Switzerland

The Hague, The Netherlands, June 16, 2017 - After a “losing” Thursday, it was a “winning” Friday for three of the top four-seeded women’s pairs at the US$150,000 Dela Beach Open as the quarter-final lineup for the FIVB World Tour is set with five countries still in contention for the international Beach Volleyball gold medal.

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Being played at the newly-constructed Sportcampus Zuiderpark with action being held on an outside court and two inside rectangles, teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States remain in the competition and seeking the $10,000 first-place prize to be awarded here Sunday following the gold medal match.

Beach Volleyball power Brazil has three pairs remaining in the competition, including top-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, fourth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa and 15th-seeded Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado.  While Antonelli and Carolina are unbeaten in six matches this week, the other two Brazilian pairs rebounded from setbacks Thursday to win two matches each Friday in the elimination bracket. 

Canada has advanced two teams in the quarter-finals with 10th-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan unbeaten in their three Dela Beach Open matches while 12th-seeded Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson followed the same path as the top-two Brazilian teams in recovering from a Thursday setback to win twice Friday.

Other pairs in the quarterfinals are fifth-seeded Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat of the United State and 11th-seeded Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia and 17th-seededd Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland.  The Americans prevented a fourth Brazil team in the quarter-finals by eliminating sixth-seeded Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas 2-1 (22-24, 22-20, 15-10) in 51 minutes.

With a quarter-final match looming against Heidrich/Verge-Depre, Sweat said the key to their victory over the Brazilians was “our side-out and defense.  It was the first time we played them as a team, and it went well in the end. I t was a fun match, we knew it was going to be a battle.  I think the turning point in the third set was our defense and being able to side out down the stretch.”

With Antonelli and Carolina playing the Australians in the quarter-finals, two of the “elite eight” matches are intra-country meetings with Agatha/Duda meeting Talita/Larissa and Humana-Paredes/Pavan being challenged by Bansley/Wilkerson.  Talita and Larissa hold a 2-0 edge in the head-to-head matches with Agatha and Duda with Bansley and Wilkerson winning the only contest between the two Canadian pairs.

Saturday’s women’s schedule ends with the two semi-final matches to set the lineup for Sunday’s medal confrontations.  With the Dela Beach Open being the seventh double gender event on the 2017 FIVB World Tour calendar, the men play three rounds of matches Saturday to establish the their medal meetings for Sunday.

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