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Spanish stars aim to build on recent success in Shanghai

Spain’s Liliana Fernandez-Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo are a growing presence on the World Tour/Open circuit

Shanghai, China, May 1, 2013 – Spain’s Liliana Fernandez-Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo took silver at the opening event of the season, the Fuzhou Open last week. The pair is now at the Shanghai Grand Slam with their sights set on another medal on the eve of the Women’s Main Draw beginning on Thursday.

Liliana and Baquerizo had an outstanding start to the season in Fuzhou where they equalled their best ever FIVB performance when they took silver at the Aland Open in 2012. The Spanish girls were satisfied with their progress through the tournament, but also learnt lessons that will only help them in the future.

“It was great! Qualifying again for a final is not something that you can do everyday. It is very exciting to go up on the podium and receive a medal,” said Baquerizo.

“Actually, our play has been very steady throughout the whole tournament. In the group phase we did a pretty good job, despite losing the last match. Then, in the next rounds we played at a great level. This situation helped us to reach semifinals after beating the Italian team (Ciccolari-Menegatti) and then we were able to reach the final match after winning against the Dutch team (van Gestel-Meppelink),” said Liliana.

“The final game was a little worse for us, as the Chinese team (Xue-Zhang Xi) were too tough on us with the serve from the onset. Maybe that was key in how the game went in terms of us being able to put some pressure on them.”

Liliana and Baquerizo began to establish themselves at the top of the women’s game in 2012 with results that included winning their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medal at the Aland Open, becoming the first Spanish women to play at an Olympic Games, finishing the year ranked first in Europe, as well as claiming bronze at the European Championships and a fourth consecutive Spanish national title.

The new season is following a similar pattern of success and the Spanish women are not planning to settle on only two World Tour/Open medals.

“We are very lucky because we have been able to start the season with a very good momentum. Last year, we could put an end to the season with our first medal and this year we have started with not one but two medals (silver medal in the FIVB World Tour Open in Fuzhou and bronze medal in CEV Satellite tournament in Antalya). We will continue definitively working hard so more medals keep coming,” said Liliana.

Liliana and Baquerizo play their first Women’s Main Draw Match on Thursday at the Shanghai Grand Slam.

Follow live comments throughout the tournament at #ShanghaiGS

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