Japanese duo join European pairs in Ljubljana final four

Ljubljana, Slovenia, August 3, 2019 – Teams from Japan, Norway, the Netherlands and Ukraine will fight for a spot on the podium, following their quarterfinal victories on Saturday in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Ljubljana 1-star.

Kaho Sakaguchi and Reika Murakami kept their promise and showed a wide range of offensive and defensive skills to beat the Dutch representatives Pleun Ypma and Emma Piersma in the first quarterfinal match of the day.

The Japanese will be playing in the semifinals against the Norwegians Victoria Faye Kjolberg and Ane Guro Tveit Hjortland, who managed to take down Kinga Legieta and Marta Lodej from Poland 2-0 (21-12, 21-19).

“We are really happy because we managed to serve very good today. We defended well and did well in side-out too. The place has a really good atmosphere, it is nice to play in front of so many people and it is my birthday today, so it is extra fun to be here,” Kjolberg commented.

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Inna and Iryna Makhno proved to be too big of a challenge for the top seeded Sayaka Mizoe/Suzuka Hashimoto from Japan. The Ukrainian twin sisters took another comfortable win at the tournament and they will be playing against Julia Wouters and Katja Stam in the semis. The Dutch duo managed to overcome Slovenia’s champions Tjasa Jancar/Tjasa Kotnik 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) and left the home crowd with no other choice than to direct all their support to the foreign teams.

“We definitely want to go all the way to the end and this was definitely not our best performance, but the fact that we kept going and really fought eventually led us to the win. The venue is super, super crazy. I think I have never seen a 1-Star tournament, which is this amazing. It is really cool,” Wouters said after the important win.


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