Warsaw, Poland, June 14, 2019 – Saturday’s women’s semifinals of the four-star Warsaw stop on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour were set on Friday, with Australia’s Taliqua Clancy & Mariafe Artacho going against Brazil’s Maria Antonelli & Carolina Solberg Salgado, and USA’s Emily Stockman & Kelley Larsen facing Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk & Eduarda Santos Lisboa for the two spots in the grand finale.
Fifth-seeded Clancy & Artacho Del Solar were the only team that started their Friday from the first elimination round and mastered three victories in row to reach the semis. In the round of 24, the Australians hammered out a 2-0 (21-19, 22-20) shutout of Germany’s Sandra Ittlinger & Chantal Laboureur (#10). In the round of 16, they went to three sets against USA’s Sarah Sponcil & Kelly Claes (#9) to emerge victorious with a 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-11) turnaround.
In the quarterfinals, Clancy & Artacho had to face the top seeds of the tournament, Brazil’s Ana Patricia Silva Ramos & Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva. In the deciding set, the South Americans had a 12-10 lead, but a late rally of four in a row brought the Australians to double match point, which they soon converted to a 2-1 (21-15, 18-21, 15-13) win.
High-flying Taliqua Clancy reaching for the ball
“What a day!” Artacho exclaimed when the day was over. “We are very excited. It’s been such a long day! We played three games, but we stayed really strong together and we fought really hard, so we’re super stoked to finish the day with three wins.”
“Rebecca and Ana are such a great team; they’ve been on the podium at every event this season, so we knew we had another tough match. We played them in the semis in China not too long ago, so we definitely knew we had to bring our best,” Clancy added. “I am just so proud of what we were able to do get on top today. Now we’ll just take the time to recover and be fresh for tomorrow.”
Maria Antonelli & Carol are the lowest ranked team to make the Warsaw semifinals. The 13th-seeded Brazilians went through two straight-setters on Friday to reach the last four. First, they claimed a 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) victory over Spain’s Liliana Fernandez Steiner & Elsa Baquerizo McMillan (#16). Then, they managed a hard-fought 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) win over Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova & Svetlana Kholomina (#21).
Second-seeded Brazilians Agatha & Duda are well on their way to repeat their golden success from their previous World Tour appearance, in Ostrava two weeks ago. In the round of 16, they came back from a set down against Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich & Anouk Verge-Depre (#23) to take a 2-1 (19-21, 21-14, 15-12) victory, and followed up with another big turnaround in the quarterfinals – 2-1 (16-21, 21-13, 15-12) against sixth-seeded Canadaians Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes.
Emily Stockman & Kelley Larsen continued their fantastic winning run in Warsaw, which started in Tuesday’s country quota match and got extended to six games on Friday. The 11th-seeded Americans achieved two emphatic shutouts of strong opponents – 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) against Germany’s Laura Ludwig & Margareta Kozuch (#29) and 2-0 (21-13, 21-14) against third-seeded compatriots Alexandra Klineman & April Ross.
Stockman & Larsen stay focused waiting for the opponents’ serve
Saturday’s semifinals are set to start at 12:00 and 13:00 local time. The bronze medal match is scheduled at 16:45 and the gold medal final will begin at 17:45. All four games will be streamed live on the FIVB YouTube channel.