Vaduz, Liechtenstein, August 10, 2018 – The top-seeded team and three pairs seeded in the bottom half of the main draw advanced to the women’s semifinals at the Vaduz one-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. In Saturday’s first semifinal, Alexandra Wheeler and Lara Dykstra of USA will measure up to Switzerland’s Esmee Boebner and Zoe Verge-Depre. The other spot in the gold medal match will be contested by Poland’s Agata Ceynowa and Martyna Kloda and Greece’s Dimitra Manavi and Konstantina Tsopoulou.
10th-seeded Ceynowa and Kloda had to persevere through two three-set battles on Friday on the way to Saturday’s semifinals. In the first elimination round, the Polish duo overcame the resistance of Switzerland’s Kim Huber and Tatjana Greber to claim a 2-1 (21-12, 17-21, 15-8) win. In the quarterfinals, Ceynowa and Kloda managed to come back from a set down against Katja Stam and Julia Wouters of the Netherlands to triumph with a 2-1 (17-21, 21-12, 15-9) victory.
Manavi and Tsopoulou had only one match to play on Friday and they managed to win it in straight sets, though the second went well into overtime. The 11th-seeded Greeks delivered a 2-0 (21-13, 25-23) upset of fifth-seeded Australians Nicole Laird and Brittany Kendall and advanced to the semis.
Wheeler and Dykstra bacame the lowest ranked team to line up among the best four. The 14th-seeded Americans crushed Sweden’s Fanny Lindstrom and Sara Malmstrom by 2-0 (21-13, 21-11) in the first knockout round, but in their quarterfinal clash with Austria’s Dorina Klinger and Ronja Klinger had to resort to a tie-breaker win on the way to a 2-1 (21-18, 16-21, 15-8) victory.
USA’s Wheeler and Sweden’s Lindstrom in a duel over the net
Having stumbled in pool play, the #1 seed Esmee Boebner and Zoe Verge-Depre of Switzerland, made an emphatic comeback into the best four, cruising to a 2-0 (21-15, 21-11) win over Paraguay’s Erika Sofia Mongelos Bobadilla and Gabriela Filippo for a spot in the quarters and to a 2-0 (21-13, 21-14) shutout of Netherlands’ Puk Stubbe and Emma Piersma for a spot in the semis. Their summary after the match sounded just as convincing: "We served excellently and our block-defence system worked very well."
Esmee Boebner in action
The two semifinals on Saturday are scheduled for 14:00 and 15:00 local time. The bronze medal match will start at 20:00, while the grand finale for the gold medal and the title is set to get underway at 21:00.