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Czech qualifiers Vorlova/Nakladalova grab main draw spot at Prague Open

Czech qualifiers Sarka Nakladalova (left) and Michaela Vorlova celebrate their main draw spot
Prague, Czech Republic, May 21, 2014 – Host country Czech Republic added a fourth team to the main draw of the FIVB World Tour Beach Volleyball women’s only Prague Open on Wednesday. With the support of the home crowd Michaela Vorlova and Sarka Nakladalova booked two straight wins and are one of the eight qualification teams to complete the main draw field.

In the morning the Czech girls needed only 28 minutes to knock out Dutch team Lauri Luijken/Jolien Sinnema (21-12 21-12). In their second qualification match they were up against 5th seeded Yuanyan Wang and Yuanyuan Ma from China.

After a straining first set (26-24) the Chinese spirit seemed broken. Vorlova and Nakladalova on the other hand played with confidence and just kept on dinking the ball over the tall Chinese block. They took a lead from 7-7 and never looked back.

The more experienced Nakladalova (28), who’s best finish so far is 17th at the Barcelona Open in 2009, took the match to 20-16 with a great block and immediately after that scored the winning point (21-16).

According to Vorlova their defence saved the day. “In this game our services were not good compared to our first match. What kept us in the game was our receiving. I think the wind was always in our favour and the home crowd was divine.”

Starting Thursday the 27-year old will compete in her first ever World Tour main draw. “We just need one win to continue after pool play, but we are going to play against great players and want to enjoy this too.”

Poland upsets USA

The 19-year old Katarzyna Kociolek and Dorota Strag from Poland also booked their first main draw after a hard fought second round battle against 2nd seeded Heather Hughes and Christal Engle (22-20 23-25 15-12).

“It was horrible because it was very hot today”, said the U21 world champion Kociolek, who also made her debut on the World Tour. “We won the first set, but after that we did not have any energy left. We made a lot of mistakes in the second, but in the tie-break we did our best. But it was a lottery in this heat.”

About their chances in pool play, she said: “It is going to be harder and harder because it’s main draw, but we will show our best.”

Germany makes no mistakes

Top seeded Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grossner also claimed a spot in main draw. The German team had a bye in the first round and a 2-0 (21-18 21-16) win in the second against Ukraine’s Svitlana Baburina and Diana Mulenko.

A service ace by Bieneck at 15-12 in the second set propelled the Germans ahead to a 5-point lead. The Ukraine girls managed to ward of one match point at 20-15, but Grossner’s angle shot finished the match at Germany’s second match point.

Both Bieneck and Grossner were searching for the right way to play against the fairly unknown Ukraine team. Bieneck: “We never played them before, so we had to try and figure out who we should serve and how to play them. But we won and therefore I think we found a way.”

Winning the CEV Satellite in Antalya before they came to Prague boosted their self-confidence a lot. “We had many games there and won the tournament, so we came here with a lot of confidence”, said Grossner.

After finishing 17th and 25th in Fuzhou and Shanghai the German girls are looking for more in Prague. Bieneck: “We played really good in China, but we did not have the best of luck with the draw sometimes. The results in Fuzhou and Shanghai were not the results we wanted, but after Antalya we will try to do better.”

Other teams

The other 3 teams advancing to main draw are MacTavish/Whitaker (CAN), Van der Hoeven/Smit (NED) and Adelin/Longuet (FRA).

The women’s only Prague Open continues on Thursday with main draw pool play. Pool winners go straight into the second knockout round on Saturday. The numbers two and three start in the first elimination round.

The FIVB Prague Open is the third Open event of the 2014 season and the 264th FIVB women’s tournament since the FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992.

FIVB Prague Open Tournament Page

FIVB Prague Open Qualification

FIVB Prague Open Entry List

FIVB World Tour Twitter Account


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