If 2012 was the breakthrough year for Spanish duo Liliana Fernandez
Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo, then the pair are determined to make 2013
the year they establish themselves at the top of the women’s game.
And their silver-medal performance in the season-opening event of
2013 –
the Fuzhou Open - provided further evidence.
Last year was memorable for all manner of reasons for the 26-year-
old Fernandez-Steiner and the 25-year-old Baquerizo; they won their
first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medals with silver at the Aland
Open, became the first Spanish women to play at an Olympic Games,
finished the year ranked first in Europe, claimed the bronze medal at
the European Championships and won a fourth consecutive Spanish
national title.
While with the benefit of hindsight the pair realise that there is
much more for them to achieve and lessons to be learned, they have
continued to set their sights high for the coming season. “The main
reason for our defeat in the first knockout round of the Olympic Games
was that we were too affected by pressure,” Fernandez-Steiner said.
Our goal now is to qualify for the semifinals and finals of every
tournament we play, so that we can learn to cope with stress and
become experienced in situations like the ones we faced in London.”
Despite having come to an end over half a year ago, the London
Olympic Games is something that the pair will never forget
and it marked a high point in their time together that began when
they finished fourth at the 2007 FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World
Championships in Modena, Italy.
Even though they were eliminated in the first knockout round,
Fernandez-Steiner and Baquerizo’s performances in London made a
huge impression back home in Spain and they soon found themselves
inundated with emails and social media messages praising them for
how they had got on.
We were not aware of all the popularity that we were gaining in
Spain during the Games,” Fernandez-Steiner admitted. “Eventually,
our families told us about the popularity of our performances, but