The home fans will have a second women’s team to support in the Beach Volleyball World Championships Rome 2022 Round of 32, after Claudia Scampoli and Margherita Bianchin achieved a great comeback to overcome Tuesday’s lucky-loser round. Amazingly, all four matches of the round were resolved in tie-breaker third sets.

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Things did not look good for 12th-seeded Scampoli and Bianchin as they lost the first set to Chile’s Maria Rivas Zapata and Chris Vorpahl by a wide margin. However, with Scampoli spearheading the attacks and Bianchin contributing mostly in blocking and serving, the Italians fought back to celebrate with a 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 15-8) win.

“We are really happy! We were struggling a little bit as a team. We started the season really well, but then we hit a speed bump on the road. But now we are coming back together mentally and this was definitely a good game for us,” Bianchin told Volleyball World after the match. “Now we are going to rest and think about the next game. We know that all the teams that remain are super good and we will try to prepare well.”


Bobner penetrates Lidy’s block

A hard-fought three setter unfolded next on centre court. Switzerland’s Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge-Depre, seeded 29th in the bracket, stormed into their game against Cuban Olympians Leila Martinez and Lidy Echeverria on a 5-0 run and kept pace to win the first set. With Lidy showing a great blocking effort, the Cubans came back in the second set to prompt a tie-breaker. In the end, Switzerland’s better serving made the difference in this match, bringing in five aces towards a 2-1 (21-16, 13-21, 15-12) victory.

“It feels good! We had a difficult pool and we are happy that we made it out of it and made it to the next round. Cuba are a good team and we knew we had to fight for every point to get this win. We managed to do it, so I’m proud of us,” Bobner said. “We had a good first tournament this season and we gained confidence with it. We felt that we could bring more on the court and now we are able to show it. We have a good team spirit and good team energy and that’s our weapon.”

“We will see who we play next, but we will attack fully, because we want to win the next round too, but first we need some rest,” added Verge-Depre.


Spectacular dive by Ishii

The lucky-loser round started off with another three-set comeback, achieved by Miki Ishii and Sayaka Mizoe. The 27th-seeded Japanese pair lost the first set to Mexico’s Atenas Gutierrez and Maria Quintero deep into overtime, but then recovered with improved serving, which brought them as many as 10 aces in the match, to dominate the next two sets on the way to a 2-1 (22-24, 21-12, 15-8) win.

The round also ended with an exciting three-setter. In the last women’s match of the day, 26th-seeded Katharina Schutzenhofer and Lena Plesiutschnig of Austria completely dominated the first set and opened a four-point lead in the second against Erika Mongelos and Giuliana Poletti, but the Paraguayans fought back to take control in the money time and win the second set to push the match to three. However, Schutzenhofer was on fire in offence during the tie-breaker as her team dominated again on the way to a 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-10) victory and to the first round of the knockouts.