2017-08-02 19:01:00 CEST
A last-16 place awaits for Hüberli and Betschart
Whether thanks to luck, fantastic skill, or a combination of the two, the Swiss party will go well into the night tonight.
That’s thanks to the fine work of Tanja Hüberli and Nina Betschart, through to the last-16 of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 after a fine win over Katharina Schützenhöfer and Stefanie Schwaiger – a pair who had been in fine form so far.
The Austrians had been tipped for big things, but even they were unable to counter the force of the tenth seeds, victorious in two stirring sets on the Red Bull Beach Arena in Vienna.
But the Swiss team were reliant on every ounce of energy to get them over the line, up against it as temperatures on the sand reached beyond 60 degrees Celsius.
“We’re really happy that we could win this game, it was hot and we expected a fight so to win it 2-0 and be through to the round of 16 is fantastic,” said Betschart.
“We played very solidly, and when Schwaiger got the block, we somehow seemed to manage to always get an arm to it. We were luckier than them and that made a massive difference.
“It was important for the way you feel, you know they are also strong and they are going to push you, particularly with their crowd, so we did well to get the better of that.
“Now we are playing a Canadian team who could win the Championships, so it will be tough but we have nothing to lose and we will give it everything.”
That aforementioned Canadian team is in the shape of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes – a team that has looked close to invincible on the sand.
Such has been their consistency they have yet to drop a set in the competition, with all matches done within 40 minutes – time that could be a vital factor when the energy levels take their toll in the Austrian heat.
But while the Swiss stars know the challenge that lies ahead, they are content to focus on themselves and themselves alone as they push for a quarter-final place, a prize that would break new ground for both the duo.
Hüberli added: “We’re really happy with our game, we played very well and we are putting ourselves in great situations in each point that we play.
“In every tournament we try to drink a lot of cold water, we had to cool down with ice on the neck but luckily it worked out.
“The physios are doing a really good job and getting us game-ready, we did a great job on the court but there are a lot of people who can contribute to this being a good performance.”
You can see how they get on in the rest of the tournament by checking out BeachStream. It's live and free, so make sure you click here to sign up!
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