Comeback queens Erika & Michelle reach U21 quarterfinals

Lucerne, Switzerland, May 14, 2016 – Coming back from one set behind twice on Saturday Paraguay’s Erika Mongelos Bobadilla and Michelle Valiente Amarilla made it to the quarterfinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships. Their best result in any FIVB age-group event so far.

The South American pair participated in the U19 and U21 in 2014, but did not get any further than 9th and 17th place. “We are so excited”, Erika said. “This is our second U21. We were expecting to go really far and we have improved a lot. We can see that now and that is really amazing. To be able to capture our own improvement is just unexplainable.”

Erika and Michelle finished third in the pool in Lucerne and had to play two matches on Saturday. In the first elimination round they defeated Finland’s Ida Sinisalo and Niina Ahtiainen 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-6) and again came back from behind against Lithuania’s lucky losers Irina Zobnina and Urte Andriukaityte (12-21, 21-16, 15-13).

Defence player Michelle, who made her international debut at the World Championships in Stare Jablonki in 2013 (37th) at the age of 14, was in tears after that last match. “That was hard”, she said. “But to win a game like that makes me more happy. So these are tears of happiness.”

“We had too much excitement”, explained Erika. “We went into the first set so anxious, so excited. There was so much adrenaline in our bodies that we could not put on the court. In the second set we were warmed up. We relaxed and could think better.”

In the quarterfinals the Paraguay team meets the Canadian twins and pool winners Megan and Nicole McNamara who defeated Viktoryia Shalayeuskaya and Viktoryia Siakretava from Belarus 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in the second round.

Russia has two teams in the quarterfinals. Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina will face Romanian qualifiers Adriana-Maria Matei and Beata Vaida and qualifiers Nadia Rudykh and Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya, who surprised Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt and Sarah Schneider, are up against USA’s Sarah Sponcil and Torrey Van Winden.

The fourth quarterfinal features Dutch team Joy Stubbe and Nika Daalderop and Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos.

Youth olympic champions Duda and Ana Patricia eliminated their friends and fellow Brazilians Victoria Lopes Pereira Tosta and Andressa Cavalcanti Ramalho 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) in the second elimination round.

“Victoria and I are like sisters”, 17-year old Duda said. “We train together. We live in the same house. So it was super tough for us to play against each other. But you can’t choose your opponents. Whoever it is, you have to play against them. But this was a tough situation.”

U19 world champion Duda played two U21 World Championships before, in 2013 and 2014, but never won a medal in this age-group. “Right now I feel really good and I am very happy and proud because in the last tournaments I always ended up 9th place. So now it’s a relief to have already gotten past that and be in the quarterfinals. I feel great for tomorrow, and let’s see what happens.”

Quick links
FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships Lucerne 2016
Men - Qualification results
Women - Qualification results
Men - Main draw results
Women - Main draw results


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