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Lili and Seixas standing between favourites and final

Barbara Seixas (left) and Liliane Maestrini will need to produce their best form to beat first seeds Chen Xue and Zhang Xi
Stare Jablonki, Poland, July 5, 2013 – Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas de Freitas have the ominous task of facing number one seeds Chen Xue and Zhang Xi in the first of the women’s semifinals at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013 on Saturday.

Lili and Seixas went into the World Championships with their confidence boosted from winning the bronze at the Rome Grand Slam, the final FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament before Mazury 2013.

Xue and Zhang Xi, bronze medallists at Rome 2011, missed the final three events and their lack of match practice showed when they slipped to two defeats in pool play. They hit form at the start of the elimination rounds though and have gradually improved each match. 

The other semifinal pitches 2009 world champion April Ross and her stand-in partner Whitney Pavlik against Germany’s new sensations Karla Borger and Britta Buthe. 

Pavlik was only called up to replace Ross’ usual partner Jennifer Kessy after Kessy was ruled out with hip and Achilles injuries. Ross asked Pavlik to step in less than a week before the tournament started and they are now one match away from a World Championships final.

Borger and Buthe’s run to the semifinals continues their strong form from the Rome Grand Slam two weeks ago in which they finished fourth for their best World Tour finish. They are aiming to be the first German side to reach a World Championships final after becoming the first German team to reach the last four.

The women’s competition concludes on Saturday with the semifinals followed by the medal matches. The bronze medal match begins at 17.00 local time, followed by the gold medal match at 18.00. 

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