Strbova/Dubovcova upset Ludwig/Kozuch to reach Kuala Lumpur quarterfinals
Slovakia’s Andrea Strbova and Natalia Dubovcova eliminated Germany's Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch in the second round of the 3-star World Tour event in Kuala Lumpur
Strbova and Dubovcova started their day with a 2-0 (21-8, 21-9) win over Malaysia’s Tasha Mae and Shu Woon Joo in the remaining match of Pool H, then defeated Lena Plesiutschnig and Katharina Schutzenhofer 2-0 (21-18, 21-11) in the first round.
In their third match, they faced fourth seeds Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch for the quarterfinal spot and the Slovakian pair stepped up to the challenge as they eliminated their German rivals in convincing fashion at 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) in 36 minutes.
“We lost our first match in pool play, so we had to win three matches in a row today,” Dubovcova said. “We did it and we feel great about it. It’s great that we have shown that we could play in these hot weather conditions and I just couldn’t describe how great it feels to beat an Olympic champion.”
“We both served really well to put them under pressure. We defended a lot of balls and stayed consistent in our reception.”
“We had a long day and warming up in this weather was hard,” Strobova added. “But beating a team with Laura Ludwig is such a rewarding feeling.”
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FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Kuala Lumpur
The top three seeded pairs stayed on course and secured their places in the quarterfinals with straight-set triumphs.
The top-seeded Czech pair Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova defeated Russian youngsters Mariia Bocharova and Maria Voronina 2-0 (21-16, 21-16), then the second-seeded German duo Karla Borger and Julia Sude routed France’s Lezana Placette and Alexia Richard 2-0 (21-15, 21-15), while their compatriots Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider commanded a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) against the other French tandem of Alexandra Jupiter and Aline Chamereau.
Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings along with fellow Americans Corinne Quiggle and Amanda Dowdy remained in the race for the Kuala Lumpur 3-star medals.
Sweat and Walsh Jennings won their match in straight sets against Japanese pair Takemi Nishibori/Ayumi Kusano, while Quiggle and Dowdy earned their spot with a three-set win against Russians Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Birlova and a two-setter against Japanese Chiyo Suzuki and Yurika Sakaguchi.
Pool play winners Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii of Japan and Paula Soria and Maria Belen Carro of Spain also kept their momentum in the second round with 2-0 and 2-1 victories, respectively.
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