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Salgado sisters lead eight teams into Shanghai Main Draw

Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Solberg Salgado celebrate after securing their berth in the women's Main Draw

Shanghai, China, May 1, 2013 – Reunited Salgado sisters from Brazil held off a strong late challenge from Austria’s Barbara Hansel/Katharina Schutzenhofer on Wednesday to lead eight qualifying teams into the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Shanghai Grand Slam women’s Main Draw.

Playing together again after Carolina gave birth to a baby boy last year, Maria Clara and Carolina Solberg Salgado failed to qualify for the Main Draw in the season-opening Fuzhou Open but this time they did not let the chance slip away, beating the Austrains 21-16 and 22-20 in the second and last round of the women’s Qualification Tournament.

Having closed the first set with a comfortable five-point margin, the Qualification Tournament top seeded Brazilians overcame a 15-13 deficit and beat off one set point to level it at 20-all in the second set. Carolina then pulled off two outstanding blocks against Schutzenhofer in succession to wrap up the match in 41 minutes.

“We are really happy to make the Main Draw, we did not play very well in Fuzhou, ” said Maria. "After one year’s split, we really needed and wanted to get back and play together again.”

“I returned to beach volleyball one month after giving birth to my child and I practiced very hard, ” said Carolina.

Maria and Carolina vowed to play better together as a team in the Main Draw. “I think we will just take it game by game, not thinking too much about the result but trying to play better, and we can play better together, ” Maria added.

Canada’s ninth seeds Jamie Lynn Broder/Kristina Valjas posted a pair of qualifying victories including a come-from-behind 2-1 (15-21, 21-18, 15-9) win over eighth seeds Andrea and Claudia Galindo from Columbia to secure their berth in the women’s Main Draw starting on Thursday.

“Feeling pretty good, it’s always nice to make it into the Main Draw,” said Broder. “Qualifiers are a battle. We definitely got tested today, but we’re happy to pull off a win in the end.

"The wind picked up a lot in the afternoon so we had to get our bearings a little bit there and we were making a few more unforced errors than we wanted to so it was just about controlling our side and finding our style of play.”

Tandems from the United States pulled off the major upsets in the women’s Quaflification Tournament as the 13th seeds Jennifer Fopma/Brooke Sweat and 14th seeds Emily Day/Brittany Hochevar eliminated fourth seeds Miller Elwin/Henriette Iatika of Vanuatu and third seeds Heather Bansley/Elizabeth Maloney from Canada respectively in the second and final round. The Netherlands also advanced two teams into the Main Draw, namely the 10th seeds Jolien Sinnema/Michelle Stiekema and 12th seeds Jantine van der Vlist/Marloes Wesselink.

The other teams making the women’s Main Draw are Emilia Nystrom/Erika Nystrom from Finland and Kinga Kolosinska/Monika Brzostek of Poland.

Featuring defending champions Xue Chen/Zhang Xi from China, the women’s Main Draw tournament will start on Thursday. Thirty-two teams will play a single round robin in eight groups with top three finishers from each group to advance to the 24-team knockout stage.

The double gender Shanghai Grand Slam is the first of a FIVB-record 10 Grand Slam events on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar.

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