Qinzhou, China, October 15, 2017 – Australian fifth seeds Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy crushed Polish dark horses Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek in straight sets here Sunday morning to claim their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour title at the Qinzhou Open.
Artacho/Clancy swept Kolosinska/Kociolek 21-11 and 21-12 in 28 minutes in the women’s final and both of the Australian girls attributed their triumph in this three-star World Tour event to teamwork and mutual trust.
“(The key is) Teamwork and trust in each other,” said Artacho. “We stayed really strong together, at every point, whether we were up or down.”
“Teamwork, especially in these tricky conditions,” Clancy echoed. “It’s so windy and that made it even more difficult. We were adapting to that the whole tournament and it paid off.”
Artacho and Clancy were excited to win their first gold medal in the World Tour. “I am really excited! We just try to play our best volleyball and to go out and see what we can do. It has been enjoyable, every game and every match to play, so getting the benefit of winning this is absolutely extra bonus,” Clancy added. “The World Tour is getting more difficult. We will just keep going and hopefully we can get more podiums.”
Kolosinska/Kociolek, the 30th seeds who have pulled off big upset wins over third seeds Claes Kelly/April Ross and seconds seeds Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross of the United States on their way to the final, could be satisfied with the silver.
“We didn’t play well today, we couldn’t handle this wind, but that’s a medal and we can be proud of ourselves,” said Kolosinska.
“We had many problems, the girls played so good on this wind. We couldn’t handle anything, they did and they deserved it,” Kociolek said. “We are proud of ourselves with the silver.”
“Next season we’ll be mixing again, but we hope every team from Poland can get best results in the World Tour and hopefully we can get our next medals.”
Earlier on Sunday, Sweat and Ross beat top seeds Wang Fan/Xia Xinyi 21-18 and 21-13 to take home the bronze medal.
Trailing 11-8 in the first set, Sweat and Ross ran off five straight points to overtake the lead at 13-11. The Chinese fought hard to go up again at 18-16, only to find Sweat and Ross wrap up the opener with another 5-0 run. In the second set, the Americans jumped to a 11-7 lead and never looked back.
“The Chinese are such a great team. They are always fun to play against, they are like the sweetest girls,” said Sweat, who clinched the match winner with an ace. “It’s always a tough match, the wind made it even weirder. It’s just about ball control and I think we took care of the ball really good on our side.”
Sweat and Ross were pleased with their second podium finish of the season following a silver medal at the Moscow Open in June.
“It’s always great to win a medal, especially in our first season together and our last tournament of the season,” Sweat said. “I think we are playing really good and to go out with a medal just means a lot to us.”
“I am just happy because we have a long journey home and we can be happy to celebrate,” Ross added.
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