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Bawden and Laird to take on form team in Manly semifinals

Canada's Camille Saxton was in top form in the quarter-final win over USA
Sydney, Australia, March 18, 2017 - On paper the two strongest teams competing at the FIVB World Tour event at Manly Beach in Sydney this weekend will meet in the first semifinal later today.

Australia's Louise Bawden and Nicole Laird are the top seeds in Manly, while Canada's Julie Gordon and Camille Saxton were impressive winners of the World Tour event in Shepparton earlier this month.

It's a match-up worthy of gold medal billing, but instead they'll take on each other in the first game on Sunday.

The second semifinal will see another Australian team, Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Jessyka Ngauamo, take on the runners-up from Shepparton, Germany's Anni Schumacher and Kim Behrens.

"It's just learning as we are going, and every single match we are looking for something new," Gordon said.

"We are learning about each other, and how we can rely on each other as a new team. I think our timing together is amazing, and we have really good chemistry."

"But we are always looking to make it better, though, and seeing where our potential might lead us."

Behrens and Schumacher pulled off a miracle win against Japan's Mizoe and Hashimoto in their quarterfinal, coming from 14-11 in the third set to win 18-16 to book their place in the semifinals.

The Germans reacted accordingly, and Behrens said it will improve their confidence ahead of Sunday's match.

"It was 11-14 against us, and we had the opportunity to be so strong," she said.

"We were able to get it back, and to fight for it, and that has such a big meaning in this sport."

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