Back to back gold for China’s Xue and Xia
In the first set both teams played point by point with the Germans targeting young Xia, but the 16-year old stood her ground. From 15-15 the Chinese took the lead.
After winning the first set Xia grew in confidence and set the audience on fire with some amazing digs. Laboureur and Sude started making too many unforced errors. At their first match point Xue claimed the gold with a powerful spike.
It was their second medal in only three events together. Xue and Xia teamed up after Zhang Xi, Xue’s partner for eight years, decided to take a break at the end of the season. Zhang Xi and Xue had already won the Fuzhou Open, the World Championships in Stare Jablonki and the Grand Slam in Gstaad this year.
“When I knew I was going to play with Xia, I had to do more, I had to be better than before”, Xue said. “Seriously, I thought there was no way I could get a medal this year. My goal was to get into the top eight.”
Xia is still in high school and started playing beach volleyball only two years ago. She likes the feel of winning now. “Playing in the final cheers me up and I want to play more games to improve myself and get more results”, she said.
Kessy and Pavlik take the bronze
USA’s Kessy and Pavlik claimed the bronze medal after a crazy first set against Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude. Set points were going back and forth until finally the Americans grabbed the set at 36-34. Pavlik: “We just focussed on one pass at a time, I wasn’t thinking about hitting and Jen’s talk was amazing.”
In the second set they took control and finished the game at 21-18. The Americans had to fight hard all day, playing three sets in the quarters and in the semifinal.
“We came out and all day our games have been real battles. You want to leave with a medal”, Pavlik. “Playing for the bronze was awesome. It’s my first and I will take it.”