Argentines hit heights to reach main draw in Gstaad
For the Argentine duo it is the first time that they have played together at an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam and they showed their determination to reach the main draw throughout a match that lasted one hour 11 minutes.
“For us it is like getting on the podium,” Gallay said. “It is our first Grand Slam and only our third tournament as a team, so we’ve already had a victory and we are very, very happy.”
The Italians appeared set to take their place in the main draw, but dogged defence and the ability to capitalise on their chances ensured that the Argentines were the team to progress.
Gallay previously featured at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Maria Zonta and she only teamed up with Klug in recent months. They won a silver medal on the South American tour and used the confidence that gave them to stage a remarkable comeback.
“In the tie-break you never have think too much,” Klug said, “but of course you think you will try to do your best, but you’re thinking that this is already over even if you don’t want to think like that.
“Then it went a little bit crazy. I think once we were 14-14, I was sure that we would win. It was so difficult to get there, but then I kept thinking that soon it would be over.”
Austrians use World Championships momentum to reach main draw
Barbara Hansel and Katharina Schutzenhofer were another of the eight female teams to reach the main draw and enjoyed a relatively straightforward 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) victory over Greece’s Vasiliki Arvaniti and Panagiota Karagkouni.
“It was ok,” Schutzenhofer said. “Qualification is always difficult because you can’t lose and if you are in the main draw it is a little bit easier for your head. In the main draw we have three games and want to get out of the pool.”
The pair are only in their first season together and they finished in a respectable ninth place at the recent FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013 after going through pool play unbeaten before they lost to their fellow Austrians Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger in the second elimination round.
Now that they are back in the main draw they are hoping to continue their momentum from the World Championships.
“We came ninth, but we had a lot of close games there,” Hansel said. “At the World Championships we weren’t the favourites so we could give your best and whatever happened would be good.”
The Gstaad Grand Slam is the fifth Grand Slam of 10 on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The tournament began with women’s qualifying on Tuesday 9 and ends with women’s and men’s medal matches on Sunday July 14.
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