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2018-08-03 15:58:00 CET

USA and Brazil dominate Vienna’s quarterfinals

The countries advanced six teams in to the women’s top-eight at the Danube Island

April and Alix won an all-American duel with Fendrick and SponcilApril and Alix won an all-American duel with Fendrick and Sponcil

Beach volleyball powerhouses USA and Brazil will dominate the quarterfinals of the women’s tournament of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch as the countries earned six of the eight spots in play on Friday. Team from the Netherlands and Czech Republic will try to battle the South and North Americans for the semifinal berths on Friday evening.

From the three American teams qualified, April Ross and Alix Klineman were the ones to have the most impressive victory in the Round of 16. The A-Team faced April’s former partner Lauren Fendrick and World Tour rookie Sarah Sponcil and advanced with a 21-12, 21-12 win.

“We started the tournament a little slow, but our game started improving yesterday,” April, a silver medalist from last year’s World Championship in Vienna said. “We know how good they are and we took them really serious.

“Sarah has not played so much internationally and not many people know her, but we played them in the US so we prepared really well. Alix was a big presence at the net and that was a big deal for us.”

The Americans will now play European champions Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink, of the Netherlands, who had a two-set (21-18, 21-19) victory over Germans Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider.

If April and Alix had a smooth victory, Summer Ross and Sarah Hughes had to grind in three sets (16-21, 27-25, 15-8) over Italians Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth. They will now face Czech Republic’s Marketa Sluková and Barbora Hermannová, who knocked Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho out in two sets (21-19, 21-19).

The third American team qualified was the one of Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman as they won an all-US match against Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar in two sets (21-15, 22-20). Their next opponents will be Brazilians Carolina Solberg and Maria Elisa Antonelli, who prevailed on a three-set battle (14-21, 21-14, 15-13) against Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina.

Carol Solbeg blocks Kholomina in their Round of 16 matchCarol Solbeg blocks Kholomina in their Round of 16 match

“The Russians are a very good team and I’m glad we won it,” Carol said. “We knew it would be hard and they had a better start, but we were patient enough to find our best game and a way to turn things around. We’re excited to fight for a semifinal spot.”

The fourth and final quarterfinal duel will see Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalists Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas, who’s celebrating her 31st birthday, meet for just the second time since they split, two years ago.

“It has been a while since we played them, so it’s hard to know what to expect,” Agatha said. “But it will certainly be a very good game and hope the stands are packed because it will be fun.”

Both teams needed three sets to win their Round of 16 games as Agatha and Duda Lisboa scored 24-26, 21-14, 19-17 over Germany’s Sandra Ittlinger and Kim Behrens while Barbara and Fernanda Berti had a 21-15, 16-21, 15-10 triumph over Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek.

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