Chetumal, Mexico, November 16, 2019 – A bad start wasn’t enough to stop Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink, as the Dutch rebounded from a pool play setback to advance to the semifinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event in Chetumal, Mexico.
The second-seeded team in the tournament, Keizer and Meppelink were upset by Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami in Pool B and had to take a longer route to remain alive in the tournament. That wasn’t a problem for the 2018 European champions as they won their next three matches to make it to the semifinals in Mexico.
“We certainly didn’t play at our best against Japan, but I think we did a good job in analyzing that match and identifying the points we needed to improve,” Meppelink commented. “It’s important to be in the semifinals of the last event of the year, but we want more, we want to fight for a medal here.”
The latest of their four victories in Chetumal was a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) triumph over Brazil’s Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Berti.
“I think we came to this match with a great plan and executed it well,” the blocker added. “We started well, putting a lot of pressure on them, but we knew they could fight back, as they did in the second set. We needed to stick together and be strong to change the game in the end.”
The Dutch veterans will now face top-seeded Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho, who posted a 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-13) victory over USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat in the quarterfinals.
The other semifinal duel at the Chetumal event will feature Brazilians Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima, who defeated Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil 2-0 (21-19, 21-19), and Chinese Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia, who downed Japanese Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 16-14).
Semifinals are set to be played in Saturday’s evening session while the medal matches are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.