Ledoux/Sponcil hold off Wang/Xia, lock up final four spot

 

USA's Caitlin Ledoux against China's Wang Fan at the women's quarterfinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Haiyang Open

Haiyang, China, July 21, 2018 – Caitlin Ledoux and Sarah Sponcil completed the trio of USA squads that made it to the women’s semifinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Haiyang Open by ousting top seeds Wang Fan/Xia Xinyi on Saturday.



Ledoux/Sponcil played patiently throughout the match, preventing top Chinese pair Wang/X.Y. Xia from making any significant runs. The American pair posted a 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) to make it to their first World Tour semifinals appearance together.

“It feels great,” Ledoux said. “It’s our first tournament together, so getting to the semifinals is really a big accomplishment.

“We know that we were playing a great team, but our communication through the match was really good. As a new team we had to focus on what we are doing on our side and be able to talk through plays and always look forward to the next play. I think we did a great job on that. I hope we can keep building on that.”

“We started rough but our defence and offence are getting sharper each match,” Sponcil added. “We just took it play by play and we stayed patient. It looks like we are learning a lot, so it’s great.”

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Second seeds Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen defeated Australia’s Phoebe Bell/Jessyka Ngauamo 2-0 (21-15, 21-16), while third seeds Betsi Flint/Emily Day beat compatriots Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) to earn their semifinal berths.

“Kelley and I have been on the road for a couple of weeks and we’ve been playing some good volleyball,” Stockman said. “Australia played great volleyball and it was great to go out there to play good and come out on top.”

Germany's Sarah Schneider/Cinja Tillman emerged as the lone European pair that made it to the semifinals after beating Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Thanarattha Udomchavee 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) in their quarterfinals encounter.