Saturday, 30 September 2023

International Volleyball



The Chinese will compete with Melissa/Brandie, Schoon/Stam and Scoles/Flint for gold in Canada

Xue and Xia eliminated Brazilians Ágatha and Rebecca in the quarterfinals

Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia continued to show progress in their reunion on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour on Saturday, when they advanced to the semifinals of the Elite16 tournament that’s being held in Montréal, Canada.

After taking gold at the Itapema Challenge, in April, the Chinese gave another step forward by making their first semifinal appearance at the Elite16 level at the Notre Dame Island – on Sunday, they will battle Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes/Brandie Wilkerson, the Netherlands’ Raisa Schoon/Katja Stam and USA’s Betsi Flint/Julia Scoles for gold.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Montréal Elite16 matches live on VBTV

The Montréal Elite16 semifinals will have Chinese and Canadians going against each other at 11:30 local time (15:30 UTC) and Dutch and Americans playing one hour later. The medal matches will take place in the afternoon, with the dispute for bronze beginning at 15:30 local time (19:30 UTC) and the final starting at 18:00 local time (22:00 UTC).

Xue, a Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, and Xia were partners for the first time between 2013 and 2016. After seven years, they got back together this season, when the 34-year-old Xue returned to the sand after an absence of almost two years.

Xia in action during the event in Canada

They had a memorable start to their second stint as partners, winning the Itapema Challenge, but were yet to have the same kind of success at the Elite16 level, finishing ninth in Uberlândia and 17th in Gstaad.

This week, the two will make their first semifinal appearance in an Elite16 event and they got there with a strong two-set (21-17, 21-12) quarterfinal victory over Brazilians Ágatha Bednarczuk and Rebecca Cavalcanti in their fourth match in Montréal.

“This is our first semifinal in an Elite16 event and we’re very excited,” Xue explained. “At this level, we have to show our best and fight hard to win every match. I thought that Brazil played very well, but we were able to bring our best game too. It will be the same on the semifinal and the key for us is being ready to deliver our best performance.”

Melissa and Brandie celebrate a pair of three-set victories on Saturday

Unlike the Chinese, their next opponents Melissa and Brandie had to play twice on Saturday and survived a pair of tie-breakers against…

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