Ekaterina Birlova (right) and Evgeniya Ukolova posted two qualifying wins for Russia on Tuesday at the Vienna Major to advance to the Main Draw in the third Beach Major Series event on the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour calendar.
Vienna, Austria, July 31, 2018 - Eight teams from seven countries won matches in the final round of women’s qualifying here on Tuesday at the $600,000 A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch as five of the top-eight seeded teams advanced to the Main Draw in the third Beach Major Series event on the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour calendar.
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With the Austrian capital hosting an international beach volleyball event for the second straight year after staging the 2017 FIVB World Championships, the Vienna Major featured two rounds of women’s qualifying on Tuesday with two-time Russian Olympians Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova posting the biggest break-through win.
Seeded 14th in the qualifier, Birlova and Ukolova won two matches on Tuesday by eliminating 19th-seeded Urte Andriukaityte/Ieva Dumbauskaite of Lithuania 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) in 31 minutes and third-seeded Azusa Futami/Akiko Hasegawa of Japan 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 22-20) in 55 minutes.
“We just arrived from Morocco and it wasn’t easy to play two games in the same day with such high temperatures,” said Birlova after the match with the Japanese. “We qualified, but we’re not very happy about the quality of our game. We will focus on it and try to improve in the main draw.”
Also posting a break-through win was Angela Lobato/Amaranta Navarro as the 11th-seeded Spaniards posted wins over 22nd-seeded Anja Dorfler/Stephanie Wiesmeyr of Austria 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) in 34 minutes and sixth-seeded Ana Gallay/Fernanda Pereyra of Argentina 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) in 38 minutes.
The United States had two teams qualify for the Vienna Major Main Draw led by top-seeded Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman. Placing fifth and fourth in their last two FIVB World Tour events in Switzerland and China, Larsen and Stockman scored a 2-0 (21-14, 21-18) win in 34 minutes over 17th-seeded Aline Chamereau/Alexandra Jupiter of France in their only match Tuesday.
Ninth-seeded Americans Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil won twice on Tuesday starting with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-7) victory in 27 minutes over 24th-seeded Agnese Caica/Marta Ozolina of Latvia followed by a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) triumph in 33 minutes over eighth-seeded Valentyna Davidova/Ievgeniia Shchypkova of the Ukraine.
Other teams qualifying on Tuesday were second-seeded Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen of Finland, fourth-seeded Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia, fifth-seeded Natalia Dubovcova/Andrea Strbova of the Slovak Republic and seventh-seeded Jamie Broder/Taylor Pischke of Canada.