2018-07-13 18:08:00 CET

Six countries remain in the hunt for the cowbell

Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan and the USA took the women’s quarterfinal berths in Gstaad

Ishii and Murakami have won five of their six matches in Gstaad so farIshii and Murakami have won five of their six matches in Gstaad so far

Teams from six countries are set to compete in the quarterfinals of the women’s tournament of the Swatch Major Gstaad after the conclusion of the third day of the event in the Swiss Alps. The four matches will be played on Saturday, all on Center Court.

Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami are arguably the biggest surprise in the top-8 in Gstaad as the Asians, who are playing in a main draw in a Beach Major Series event for the first time in their careers, knocked out Germans Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider after three sets (21-17, 16-21, 15-13) in the Round of 16. It was the fifth victory for the duo in Gstaad after six games, including two on qualification.

Beach Volleyball Major Series on Twitter

Unbelievable! @IshiiMurakami are in the #GstaadMajor quarterfinals! 🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 Congratulations girls and see you tomorrow! https://t.co/kjnBQUzckK

Ishii and Murakami will try to continue their fantastic run in the Swiss Alps against another German team, the one of Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur. The defending champions remained strong on their tittle defense after a 2-0 (21-16, 26-24) triumph over Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho. Germans and Japanese have played in the World Tour just once, in 2016, and the Europeans came out on top.

Only one team has won more matches than the Japanese so far and that is the one of Americans Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman. Their victory count points now to six, as they started their campaigns on country-quota, arriving at 2am on Monday morning and advanced to the Round of 16 after a three-set 21-23, 26-24, 15-13), their third in the week, over Brazilian world ranking leaders Maria Elisa Antonelli and Carol Solberg.

The Americans will now face another Brazilian tandem as Agatha Bednarcuzuk and Duda Lisboa won a free pass to the quarterfinals after the Netherlands’ Marleen van Iersel and Joy Stubbe were forced to forfeit their match in the Round of 16. The Brazilians have a 2-1 lead over Larsen in Stockman in their past World Tour meetings.

Thank you Gstaad and @beachmajorseries for another amazing tournament! Due to me being sick we were not able to continue here in the mountains.. 😣🤒 big bummer! Now we go home, get better and get ready for the European Championship next week! 💪 #voorelkaar #vanhiertottokyo #dontstopmenow #discoveryoursmile

94 Likes, 2 Comments - Marleen Ramond-van Iersel (@marleenvaniersel) on Instagram: "Thank you Gstaad and @beachmajorseries for another amazing tournament! Due to me being sick we were..."

The USA will have another team in the quarterfinals as April Ross and Alix Klineman won an all-American duel with Summer Ross and Sara Hughes in three sets (21-18, 16-21, 15-9). Their next opponents are Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, who dominated Russia’s Svetlana Kholomina and Nadezda Makroguzova to a straight-set (21-16, 21-17) victory.

“It was good in a lot of respects,” Melissa said. “I think Sarah did a great job and I can clean up a few areas. The Russians didn’t give up even when they were down by a lot, they still kept the pressure on and I think we responded well to that. Happy, but a lot to improve on and we’re going to need to do a lot of work for our next match.”  

Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson will also represent Canada in the quarterfinals after they came from behind to prevail in a three-set (16-21, 23-21, 15-12) battle against Germans Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch. They will now play Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova for the third time in four weeks as the Czechs stopped the last Swiss team in event, Tanja Hüberli/Nina Betschart, after a tie-breaker (21-17, 16-21, 15-9) victory.

Beach Volleyball Major Series on Twitter

Also quarterfinal-bound are @HeatherBansley and @BrandieWilks who couldn't wait to celebrate their win on the @redbull @RedBullCanada car! 😂😂😂 #GstaadMajor https://t.co/gdjki2DPnh

Saturday, the penultimate day of the women’s tournament in the mountains, will feature the quarterfinal contests while the semifinals and medal matches are scheduled to Sunday.

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