The Hague, Netherlands, January 4, 2019 – Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez played party poopers at the 4-Star Dela Beach Open on Friday when they knocked out Dutch pair Marleen van Iersel and Joy Stubbe.
The Spaniards beat van Iersel and Stubbe 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) to progress to the quarterfinals of an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament for the second time since Liliana returned to action at the start of 2018 following the birth of her first child in 2017.
“We are very, very happy,” Baquerizo said. “They are a very good team, are playing very good and were playing on their home centre court. We were prepared for a very tough match and I think we had a very good first set.
“The second set was pretty good, and we did what we had to do in defence and we got the result.”
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Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes continued to progress in their third World Tour tournament together when they booked their place in the quarterfinals.
The US pair came from a set down to beat compatriots Emily Day and Betsi Flint 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 15-9).
They have already won a first World Tour medal, bronze at the Qinzhou 3-Star and also reached the second knockout round at the 4-Star Las Vegas tournament.
“It is always kind of frustrating coming all the way out here to play your teammates that you play with at home, but we all love it and it is part of the reason why we’re all here,” Claes said.
“We are a new team and are just growing each game,” Sponcil said. “It has been challenging so far, but this girl has been by my side the whole time and she brings a lot of energy and I’m loving it.”
The tournament runs from January 2-6 and is being played on indoor beach courts at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark. It is the second year in a row that The Hague has hosted a tournament at this time of year and it has proved popular among the players who are able to compete at a top-level tournament when they would normally be involved in warm weather training.