Cools and Van Den Vonder give 1-Star Knokke-Heist fans plenty to cheer

Knokke-Heist, August 16, 2019 – Sarah Cools and Lisa Van Den Vonder guaranteed that there would be one host team in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Knokke-Heist 1-Star tournament when they won both their matches on the opening day of the main draw on Friday. 

The Belgium duo began with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) victory over English qualifiers Victoria Palmer and Jessica Grimson, and then secured top spot in Pool D by defeating Italy’s Arianna Barboni and Chiara They 2-0 (21-14, 21-14). 

Victory means they go straight into the quarterfinals that take place on Saturday, while Palmer and Grimson, and They and Barboni must negotiate the Round of 12 after they each won one match apiece. 

The seaside resort close to the Dutch border is hosting a World Tour tournament for the first time and it is taking place at the Evenementenstrand event beach from August 15-18. The winning teams in Knokke-Heist will collect the €1,000 first-place prizes and claim 200 Tokyo 2020 Olympic points.

Two Dutch teams made their way into the quarterfinals. 

Top seeds Emi van Driel and Raïsa Schoon opened by beating Belgium’s Stephanie Van Bree and Amber De Tantj 2-0 (21-11, 21-13), and followed up by seeing off Colombia’s Galindo Andrea and Galindo Claudia 2-0 (21-16, 21-9). 

Emma Piersma and Pleun Ypma also started by defeating a host team, in their case they prevailed 2-0 (21-18, 21-10) against Fleur Baens and Janne Devos. They had a tougher match against Denmark’s Cecilie Køllner Olsen and Sofia Nørager Bisgaard and needed to fight back from losing the first set to win 2-1 (17-21, 21-17, 15-9). 

Paraguay’s Patricia Carolina Caballero Peña and Michelle Sharon Valiente Amarilla completed the quartet. They beat Israel’s Sofia Starikov and Anita Dave 2-0 (21-14, 21-17), and made it two from two by defeating Els Vandesteene and Maud Catry 2-1 (17-21, 21-13, 15-12). 


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