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Laboureur and Sude storm into Fuzhou women's Main Draw

 
Maria Antonelli (right) of Brazil destroys the opponent's defense through a powerful spike
 

Fuzhou, China, April 23, 2014 - Top seeded qualifiers Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany brushed aside Becchara Palmer and Zina Stone from Australia 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) to progress into the women's Main Draw at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open on Wednesday.

Palmer and Stone overcame compatriots Justine Mowen and Jordan Mowen 2-1 (21-18, 20-22, 15-10) in the morning to face Laboureur and Sude, who had a bye in the first round of the Qualification Tournament alongside five other seeded teams.

The teams matched each other stride for stride in a taut first set which witnessed the scores were tied several times, but Laboureur and Sude managed to take control and eventually prevailed. The Germans were never threatened in the second set, streaking into a 6-2 lead and then 17-9 before securing the victory on their first match point.

"We didn't know the young Australian players, so we had to see how they play at the beginning," said Sude. "It's the first tournament of the season, so we have to take time to get into the rhythm. We are very happy to be in the Main Draw now."

Sude, who won silver at the Durban Open last year in partnership with Laboureur, didn't conceal their ambitions for a medal in Fuzhou.

"Sure, we want to make the podium again, but it's difficult this time, as all the teams here are very good," said the 26-year-old Sude.

Juliana Felisberta and Maria Antonelli from Brazil also made it through to the Main Draw after nailing two quick wins in the Qualification Tournament.

The newly formed Brazilian pair crushed New Zealand's Julia Tiley and Shaunna Polley 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) in just 28 minutes, before sweeping past Allison Daley and Kendra Vanzwieten from the USA 2-0 (21-10, 21-9) in the afternoon.

"It's the first time we played together in the World Tour events, so we are just focusing on our own game," said Antonelli. "We had four good sets in two games today. I'm very proud of my team. I hope that we can get better and better in this tournament."

Other teams making it to the 32-team women's Main Draw, which is scheduled to start on Thursday, are Miller Elwin/Henriette Iatika (Vanuatu), Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe (Japan), Katharina Schutzenhofer/Lena Plesiutschnig (Austria), Kinga Kolosinska/Monika Brzostek (Poland), Martha Revuelta/Candelas Bibiana (Mexico) and Tanja Goricanec/Tanja Huberli (Switzerland).

Thirty-two teams will play a single round-robin in eight groups with top three finishers from each group to advance to the 24-team knockout stage.

The tournament is the first of 11 Open events on the 2014 FIVB calendar, which also includes 10 Grand Slam events and a new FIVB Grand Slam Final.





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