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Hard work finally pays off for Spain’s Soria

Soria and Brun are only the second Spanish women's team to reach the semifinals of a junior world event
Umag, Croatia, June 22, 2013 – Paula Soria Gutierrez and Raquel Brun Forcadell did not have a very good start at the U21 World Champions in Umag. The Spanish pair lost their first two matches in pool play and barely made it to the elimination rounds with one win.

It was a big surprise for everyone that they ended up in the semifinals with three straight wins on Saturday. “This was so unexpected”, said Javier Bosma, their coach and olympic silver medallist.

“Yes, we really played very bad in the beginning of the tournament”, Soria said after their third win over Russia’s Gorbunova and Makroguzova (24-22 21-18). “We were not a team, but we had a good talk with our coach and that changed our minds completely. We started working together and tried to keep a positive attitude.”

New team and hardly anay preparation

Soria and Brun never played together before and had just a short preparation. They are both from different cities and Brun just finished playing indoor. Bosma: “There was no time to get Raquel into shape and that caused some frictions, but after a good talk they were more acting as a team.”

Bosma has been training with 20-year old Soria since she was 16, but it was always hard to find her a partner because most players prefer the paid indoor competion. Brun will also return to indoor when the season starts again. Last year she finished 29th with Maria Corral at the U21 World Championships in Halifax.

Huge success for Spain

For Spain reaching the semifinals is a huge success. “Only Elsa (Baquerizo) and Liliana (Fernandez) did that before us”, Soria said. “This is a good result for the Spanish youth beach volleyball. Everyone can see now that if you keep working hard you can get results in the end.”

In the semifinal the Spanish girls meet Germany’s Anika Krebs and Jelena Wlk, who had a great comeback against youth world champions Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte from Lithuania in three sets (17- 21 24-22 15-13) in the quarterfinals.

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