Mixed fortunes in quarter finals

Mixed fortunes in quarter finals


There were contrasting fortunes in the Birmingham 2022 quarter finals, with the Beach Ferns confidently accounting for England 2-0, but Sam O'Dea and Brad Fuller going down to an inspired Rwanda pair.

Polly and Zeimann will face Canada once more for a place in the gold medal match at 7am Sunday morning NZ time.

The Ferns were in good touch from the start of their match against England on Saturday morning NZ time, going point for point with the home team.

A series of strong Zeimann blocks at the net took the Ferns to 9-6 in the first set, with both players showing subtle touches and great placement, with Polley effecting some assured cutaways at the net. A great Polley serving run helped maintain the 3-4 point lead through the middle stages, before taking control at 17-11 and closing the set out 21-13.

From there England battled valiantly to get to 7-7, before the Ferns went to an 11-7 lead. Polley was in fine form at the net, making some massive spikes and great digs before a big Alice Zeimann block took them to a 17-10 lead. There were some nerves on match ball with England fighting until the end, before securing the second set at 20-15.

Zeimann/Polley 2 - 0 Grimson/Mumby ENG 
Set 1
21 - 13
Set 2
21 - 15

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Earlier that day Beach Blacks Sam O'Dea and Brad Fuller only showed their form in patches against Rwanda, who were playing the game of their lives.

In bright windy conditions the NZ pair got off to a slow start, taking time to get into their rhythm and finding it hard to negotiate the towering Venuste Gatsinzi's strong blocking and spiking game at the net.

After a great scrambling point at 11-15 down the kiwis began to click, chipping away at the deficit before losing the first set 18-21.

Rwanda again got out to an early lead in the second, and it took a couple of big plays from Brad Fuller, who was getting into the game, to bring it back to 9-9. The Beach Blacks were able to exert pressure on Gatsinzi, and Rwanda, taking a two point lead through the middle stages.

It was at the death with the scores level pegging that Rwanda took the key points, and despite a reversed point with a net touch and a big O'Dea spike to get to 19-19, a narrow line miss and review on match ball went against the kiwis, who conceded the set 19-21 and the match.

"They served really well and kept the pressure on us. I have to say, good on Rwanda, they played well," said Sam O'Dea. 

NZL O'Dea S./Fuller 0 - 2 Venuste/Olivier RWA 
Set 1
18 - 21
Set 2
19 - 21

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