Four through from qualification rounds
Despite the drizzly conditions and grey skies overhead the teams held nothing back in their quest to reach the pool stage.
Canada’s Denise Wooding and Charlotte Sider faced a hard task against the Czech Republic’s Hana Tresnakova and Barbora Pilatova, but won in straight sets, 2-0 (24-22, 21-15).
“It was a tough match to play in, but we accomplished our goals,” Wooding said. “We were always expecting a tough match; it is always hard to play in the qualifier because everyone wants to get through to the main draw. We knew it would be tough and that both teams would want it, but it is nice to win.”
The teams pushed each other point for point throughout the first set until the Canadian duo, who are both students at the University of Toronto, managed to find an edge. In the second set a vital service ace from Sider put the pair 12-9 ahead at a change of ends and despite the Czechs trying to spark a comeback, Wooding and Sider were able to keep them at arm’s length.
“I think you can never really lay back at all; when you have a lead you just have to keep pushing,” Sider said. “It is hard to control what they do, but when they were serving to me, all I had to think about was siding out and that was my only job. We can’t take control of what they do, so we just have to do what we can.”
Russia’s Ksenia Dabizha and Ksenia Dyachuk had a simpler task in their match against Sweden’s Sara Hellgren and Kristin Lind. They were fully in control from start to finish and ended with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-10) win.
“It was difficult for us because we were nervous, which is not unusual as it was the first game of the tournament, but in the end it was not so bad,” Dabizha said. “The weather wasn’t so bad, even though the rain made it a bit difficult to control the ball.”
In other matches Germany’s Christine Aulenbrock and Cinja Tillmann beat Latvia’s Ilze Liepinlauska and Sanda Ragozina to reach the main draw, as did the USA’s Meg Norton and Brittany Tiegs, who defeated Olena Basanova and Valentyna Hrytsyuk of Ukraine.
Thirty-two teams per gender will take place in the main draw of the inaugural FIVB U23 World Championships that starts on June 6 and runs through until Sunday, June 9 when both the men’s and women’s finals take place.
Myslowice, located 70km outside Poland’s ancient capital Krakow, will host a FIVB age group World Championships for a third time after successfully hosting the U19 and U21 versions in 2006 and 2007.
It has also regularly hosted stops on the FIVB World Tour - the first World Tour competition was a single-gender women’s tournament in 2008, as was the 2011 event. In 2009, 2010 and 2012 it was the men who lit up the courts.
OTHER BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS