MCHUGH AND BURNETT QUALIFY FOR MAIN DRAW AT VOLLEYBALL WORLD BEACH PRO TOUR CHALLENGE IN MEXICO
Aussies Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett have qualified for the main draw at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge in Mexico.
McHugh and Burnett managed to defeat Polish pair Kruk/Miszczuk in their first qualification match, before powering home to defeat Benesh/Lucena (USA) in straight sets 2:0 (27-25, 21-15).
The win puts the pair through to the main draw, which will get underway tomorrow (Friday 18 March) with the Aussies set to play their first match against seventh seeds Krattiger/Breer (SUI).
2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Tokyo Olympian McHugh said he is stoked to start their international season with two strong wins.
“That was such a fantastic game – Paul played lights out which was really pleasing to see,” McHugh said.
“We keep getting better every time we train and play, and our partnership is working really well.
“We couldn’t be happier with how we performed in our qualification matches, and this gives us the opportunity to play the top teams tomorrow, and we can’t wait to get at it,” he said.
McHugh credited the pair’s team work for their ability to put together two dominant performances today.
“Paul’s siding out game today was really good – he’s hitting the ball really high up here in the high altitude,” McHugh said.
“I’m sure it’s giving him a couple of extra centimetres on the jump, and that’s super exciting.
“Our side out game is probably one of our biggest strengths, and we just need to tidy up our serving consistency heading into the main draw tomorrow.
“It’s always good to start with a win though, so let’s keep that momentum rolling,” he said.
Australia’s women’s team of Phoebe Bell and Rio Olympian Nikki Laird were unfortunately knocked out of the competition, after their second qualification match against Czech Republic’s Hermannova/Stochlova 0:2 (10-21, 16-21).
The pair will now head back to Australian for the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour at Coolangatta from 25-27 March and the Volleyball World Pro Tour Futures Event on the Gold Coast in early April.
MAIN DRAW SCHEDULE
McHugh/Burnett (AUS) v Krattiger/Breer (SUI) | Friday 18 March 9.30am AEDT
CLICK HERE to watch via Volleyball World TV