Kristiansand, Norway, August 29, 2008 - Nila Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen made Norwegian beach volleyball history during SWATCH FIVB World Tour Otera Open Friday by earning the host country’s first ever “final four” berth in their own tournament.
- It’s great to play semi finals in Thailand, Mexico and China, but it’s a lot greater to do it in Norway. Actually, it can’t be compared with anything we have done before, says Nila Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen.
The third-seeded Norwegian team defeated second-seeded Maria Clara Salgado Rufino/Carolina Solberg Salgado of Brazil in Friday afternoon’s fourth-round match with 18-21, 21-19 and 15-10 in 62 minutes, so far the second longest match in Otera Open.
- We didn’t manage to make good enough serve pressure in the first set. Second and third set were much better. This is probably one of our best matches this season, says Hakedal and Torlen.
In the second fourth-round match first-seeded Maria Antonelli and Vanilda dos Santos Leao won 18-21, 21-16, 15-12 over fifth-seeded Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger of Austria. Antonelli/Leao will play their second SWATCH FIVB World Tour semi final, the first one was in Marseille this year. They won 2-1 over German Helke Claasen/Antje Roder, and lost the gold match 2-1 to another German pair, Stefanie Pohl/Okka Rau.
Hakedal/Torlen won their semi final in Shanghai in January 2007 with 2-1 over Renata Martins Ribeiro/Talita de Rocha Antunes of Brazil, and lost the final 0-2 to Jie Wang/Tian Jia of China. Their two semi final losses are against Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor (1-2 Acapulco, Mexico 2006 and 0-2 Phuket, Thailand 2006).
Two other “final four” teams came through contender’s bracket-matches late Friday evening. Fifth-seeded Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger of Austria defeated Norwegian Kathrine Maaseide/Susanne Glesnes 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-12), second-seeded Maria Clara Salgado Rufino/Carolina Solberg Salado of Brazil defeated Cristine “Saka” Santanna/Andrezza Martins “Rtvelo” das Chagas of Georgia 2-0 (21-17, 21-11).
Play in the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Otera Open 2008 continues through Saturday when the final four teams compete for the $28,000 first-place prize in the fourteenth of 19 women’s events on the 2008 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour calendar.