Daegu, Korea, July 15, 2018 – Top-seeded Phoebe Bell and Jessyka Ngauamo lived up to their status and won the title at the Daegu one-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The young Australians did so in particularly emphatic fashion, without dropping a single set along the way. This is the first golden finish on the Tour for either member of the pair and the team’s third podium, after their 2018 bronze medals at the Langkawi one-star and the Nantong two-star.
Austria’s Anja Doerfler and Stephanie Wiesmeyr earned the silver medals at Daegu. The 10th-seeded duo was somewhat of a surprise finalist, since this was the pair’s fourth appearance only on the Tour and they had never won a medal before.
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Second-seeded Nai-Han Kou and Pi Hsin Liu of Chinese Taipei ended up with the bronze medals. This was their second World Tour podium finish, after they earned silver at the Jinjiang two-star in early June.
The women’s podium at Daegu
On a warm Korean Sunday evening, the final was enjoyed by the packed stands at the centre court in Daegu, but it was quite a one-sided story. 21-year-old Bell and 22-year-old Ngauamo dominated on the court and at no point in the match did the Austrians pose a significant threat. The Aussies cruised to a speedy 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) victory to rejoice as first-time champs.
Kou and Liu stormed into the bronze medal match with a smashing 12-0 lead, which was a good indicator for their domination throughout the rest of the game against sixth-seeded Israelis Noy Chorin and Anita Deev. The team from Chinese Taipei did not face much resistance from their opposition and hammered out a 2-0 (21-8, 21-14) win.
Chorin and Deev were more competitive in their semifinal against the eventual gold medallists Bell and Ngauamo. In the first set they came back from a five-point deficit to almost catch up at 19-18, before giving away the last two rallies. In the second, the Israelis held up through 12-12, after which the Aussies broke away towards a 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) win.
The earlier semifinal was the only three-setter of the day. Kou and Liu crushed Doerfler and Wiesmeyr in the first set. In the second, the Austrians were in the lead for most of the set, but in the end had to deny three match points for their opponents before jumping ahead again to tie the game in the overtime. Kou and Liu failed to take advantage of a 12-9 lead and a double match point at 14-12 in the tie-breaker, as Doerfler and Wiesmeyr erupted with a four-point home run to advance to the final with a 2-1 (9-21, 24-22, 16-14) victory.