Heidrich in defence

Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre will take on Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) and Ana Patricia Ramos in one of Saturday’s women’s semifinals at the Beach Volleyball World Championships Rome 2022. In the other, Germany’s Svenja Muller and Cinja Tillmann will challenge Canada’s Sophie Bukovec and Brandie Wilkerson.

· Watch all matches at the Rome 2022 World Championships live on Volleyball.tv.

In Friday’s quarterfinals, 22nd-seeded Heidrich and Verge-Depre excelled in their spiking efforts against sixth-seeded Americans Kelley Kolinske and Sara Hughes, despite a great blocking performance by Kolinske. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medallists showed confidence on the court and claimed a straight-set 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) victory to advance to the semis.

“It was amazing! We had a tough six months with a lot of changes. We had a new coach and a lot of new stuff to learn. But it’s so nice playing now with so many new tools on the court. We are not really constant yet, but it’s a lot of fun. Now we are in the semifinals, because we are fighters and have trust in each other. We didn’t play the perfect game today with our side-out, but I think we put a lot of pressure with our block-defence, and we never stopped believing,” Heidrich told Volleyball World.

“It was a hell of a fight, but definitely worth it! I am super happy that we managed to keep going and fighting for every ball without thinking about what kind of match it was. That was the key! We stuck to the plan we had with our coach and did not get distracted by what they were doing” Verge-Depre added. “We said we wanted to focus on building up our game. It’s not so easy to think about all these things during the game and make the right decisions at the right moments, but we really want to build that. We are really happy that it’s paying off.”


Verge-Depre ready to block

On Saturday, at 16:00 local time (14:00 GMT), the Swiss pair will lock horns with second-seeded Duda and Ana Patricia.

“We played them two weeks ago and we lost in three sets, so now we know what to do,” commented Heidrich.

In their quarterfinal, the Brazilian duo dethroned 2018 world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada. After winning an extended first set, the 2014 Youth Olympic champions dominated the second to cruise to a 2-0 (24-22, 21-14) victory.

16th-seeded Germans Svenja Muller and Cinja Tillmann extended their fantastic spell into the World Championship quarterfinals. They mounted a thrilling comeback against eighth-seeded Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho Del Solar, Tokyo 2020 silver medallists and Hamburg 2019 World Championship bronze medallists, to advance to the semis. After losing the first set in the overtime, Muller and Tillmann drew level by winning the second. In the money time of an extended hard-fought tie-breaker, the Germans pulled off a 2-1 (21-23, 21-18, 16-14) win.

Their semifinal against Bukovec and Brandie will start at 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT) on Saturday.

In the last women’s quarterfinal, the 22nd-seeded Canadians put a stop to the fabulous run by 43rd-seeded Italian pair Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi with an emphatic 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) shutout.