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Vietnam Tuan Chau-Ha Long Open to see all-Japanese semifinal

Sayaka Mizoe will be hoping to continue her fine form in Vietnam in Sunday's semifinals
Ha Long, Vietnam, May 2, 2015 – In-form duos Takemi Nishibori/ Sayaka Mizoe and Miki Ishii/ Megumi Murakami set up an all-Japanese clash in the semifinals of the  AVC Women’s Beach Volleyball Tour Vietnam Tuan Chau-Ha Long Open, while Vanuatu’s Miller Pata/ Linline Matautu will be up against Australians Solar Artacho/ Becchara Palmer.

The pools phase ended on Friday and saw Japan 1, Vanuatu, Australia in invincible form to lead Pools A, B and C, respectively. In Pool D, China 1, New Zealand 1 and Vietnam 2 were level with seven points from three wins against one loss. However, with the set win-loss ratio taken into consideration, China 1 found themsevels on top of Pool D, followed by Vietnam 2 and New Zealand 1.

The knock-out phase started on Saturday morning, and the Pool A winners (Japan 1’s Takemi Nishibori/ Sayaka Mizoe, winners at the double-gender AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Thungsong Open in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand from April 9 to 11), remained in exceptional form to thrash Kazakhstan 1’s (Eleferenko/ Kovepovnikova 21-8, 21-11 in just 26 minutes. The Japanese duo continued their winning streak in the quarterfinals, producing a magnificent come-from-behind 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-9) victory over New Zealand 1’s Julia Tilley/ Shaunna Polley.

Pool C runners-up Miki Ishii/ Megumi Murakami brushed off Hong Kong 2’s Lo Wai Yan/ Tam Hin Ching 21-12, 21-10 in 30 minutes and then stunned China 1’s Wang Yuanyuan/ Tang Ningya 21-8, 21-15.

Pool B winners Miller Pata/ Linline Matauta, gold medallists at the double-gender AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Samila Open in Songkhla, Thailand, between April 14 and 16, showed no mercy to Chong/ Lau, crushing the Singaporean duo 21-4, 21-6 in 22 minutes. The formidable Vanuatu pair proved to be a tough nut to crack in the quarter-finals, where they breezed past Vietnam 2’s Mai Hoa/ Thi Tiep 21-12, 21-13. 

Australians Solar Artacho/ Becchara Palmer also made their mark, powering past Kazakhstan 2’s Ossipova/ Bobrova 21-4, 21-7 in 22 minutes before trouncing Vietnam 1’s Ngan/ Tram 21-12, 21-16 in the quarterfinals to book a semifinal berth.

Miller Pata/ Linline Matautu are likely to take part in the next World Tour event, the Lucerne Open, in Switzerland. Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoe and Australia’s Mariafe Solar Artacho and Becchara Palmer will also be there.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE (all local times)


8am: Japan 1 (Takemi Nishibori/ Sayaka Mizoe) v Japan 2 (Miki Ishii/ Megumi Murakami)

8.40am: Vanuatu (Miller Pata/ Linline Matautu) v Australia (Solar Artacho/ Becchara Palmer)


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