Qinzhou, China, October 13, 2017 – Top seeds Wang Fan and Xia Xinyi of China ousted Japanese duo Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii in straight sets here on Friday to reach the women’s quarterfinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Qinzhou Open.
Wang/Xia beat Murakami and Ishii 2-0 (21-13, 23-21) for their second straight win in the single elimination tournament. After claiming the first set easily, Wang/Xia met big challenge in the second as they fell behind 7-3 and 11-7.
Fighting back from there, Wang/Xia overtook the lead at 16-14 through a 6-1 run, during which Xia contributed two aces, one block and a kill. Murakami and Ishii beat off three match points to level it at 21-all, only to find Wang converted it on the fourth with a lucky ace.
“The Japanese girls played very steadily and did a great job, especially in the second set,” said Wang, who had taken a one-month break after winning the gold medal of the Chinese National Games with Yue Yuan in early September. “I have not had much training recently, so I was kind of running out of energy at the end of the match. But I am feeling better than yesterday and hopefully we can continue to improve as a team as the tournament goes on.”
The 20-year-old Xia attributed the come-from-behind victory in the second set to a change of mentality. “When we were trailing in the second set, we told ourselves not to think about winning the set, but to play point by point and improve our play as a team. Then the gap was closed and we were up again.”
Xia also paid tribute to Murakami and Ishii. “They have got very good skills. When it was close in the second set, they made fewer errors than we did,” she said.
Second seeds Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat and fourth seeds Nicole Branagh/Lauren Fendrick joined Wang/Xia in the quarterfinals while the other American tandem Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar in contention were eliminated after losing a three-set thriller to Germany’s Kim Behrens/Sandra Ittlinger 2-1 (14-21, 21-17, 15-12).
Poland’s 30th seeds Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek continued their journey of dark horse in Qinzhou. Following Thursday’s upset win over third seeds April Ross and Kelly Claes of the United States, they overcame the windy weather to rally past Austria’s 14th seeds Lena Plesiutschnig and Katharina Schützenhöfer 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-6) and reach the top eight.
“Today it was quite different because it was quite windy, it’s a different game from yesterday,” said Kociolek. “In the first set, we were like a little bit lost in this wind, and then we knew how to play in it, and I think that’s why we won the second and third set.”
Having collected two big wins in a row, Kolosinska and Kociolek were determined to fight for more. “We want to win every single match and we’ll see what we will reach,” said Kolosinska.
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