A perfect start in hot and wet conditions for all three Australian Beach Volleyball teams flying the flag at the FIVB 3 Star event in China, the Qinzhou Open.
Fresh off their highly impressive first up Gold Medal win in Japan last week our newest dynamic duo has shown they mean business. Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar were again devastating with their aggressive combination proving unstoppable.
The Spaniards Elsa/Soria had no answer in the first set succumbing 21:13. The second set was a different story and the Aussie girls had to call on all the fighting spirit to dig themselves out of a big hole to eventually prevail 22:20 and a straight sets 2-0 victory.
Just an hour later it was Clancy’s Rio Olympic partner Louise Bawden (pictured above) now with Jess Ngauamo who wanted a strong showing after the disappointment last week in Japan, when the tournament ended at the hands of their fellow Aussies.
This time they faced local favourites Wang/Yuan to kick off their tournament. The first set could have gone either way but the experience of Bawden steered them to a 21:18 win.
Once on top they never let go and cruised through the second and deciding set comfortably 21:14. Coach Simon Naismith “ It was a great team victory! “
An indication the new partnership, while not the instant success of Clancy and del Solar, it is well on the way.
Continued success of both teams will certainly make Commonwealth Games selections over the coming months interesting.
With most assuming Bawden and Clancy would be a certainty to team up again. That thinking may be getting a shakeup over summer.
Cole Durant and Zach Schubert were coming off a 5th place last week in Japan and were determined to improve on that finish.
With arguably Australia’s strongest men’s team of McHugh/Schuman taking a break due to injury Durant and Schubert know it’s all up to them.
Schubert said before their opening match “We face a strong German team today but we are ready for the battle” And ready they were!
Toughing out a first set arm wrestle and finish on top 22:20. They had things a bit easier in the second for a straight sets win 21:10
Del Solar/Clancy will kick off the round of 16 on Thursday at 3pm AEDT against Lithuania.
Bawden/Ngauamo take on Finland later in the day while our men take on Belgium.
GO AUSSIES GO !