Bawden and Clancy go out fighting at World Championships

Australia’s Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy are out of the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, after a tough 3-set loss to Brazil’s Carolina Solberg Salgado and Maria Antonelli overnight.

The Australians, fifth at last year’s Olympic Games, started strongly against the Brazilians in hot conditions, taking the opening set 22-20.

The Brazilians fought back to take the second 21-18, and despite some final set heroics, the Australians could not contain the South Americans, the 15-12 scoreline meaning Bawden and Clancy finish the Championships in 17th place.

“At these tournaments it’s important not to have expectations about your opponents, because everyone is here with an absolute goal to win every match,” Bawden said.

“It’s always hard to win games in World Championships, and so we came in with an open mind and a strong plan on how to play our game.

“We did our best, but it wasn’t quite enough today.”

Clancy finished with a game-high 24 points, including four blocks at the net, against a Brazilian combination playing together in their first season but with a long list of podium finishes with previous partners.

“We just had a few runs of missed opportunities there, but all-in-all I’m really proud of how we performed and we fought it out to the end,” she said.

“It was a physical match.”

Bawden said the Australians needed to match the Brazilians when they applied the pressure in the second set.

“As the conditions and the intensity went up it got a little bit harder to maintain our tempo and give ourselves those attacking options,” she said.

“It brought their blocker into the game a bit more, and the defender scooped up a couple of easier hits towards the back end that gave them some transition opportunities.”

The men’s team of Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann are the last Australians in the competition and will play their round of 32 match on Thursday.