New look Australian combination show up US team in quarter-finals

Australia’s Nikki Laird and Becchara Palmer have made it through to the semi-finals of the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships, with an upset victory over the U.S. combination of Carly Wopat and Brittany Hochevar.

The Laird/Palmer team had little time together as a partnership prior to the Championships but showed great composure under pressure to beat Wopat/Hochevar, 2-1.

Earlier, Laird/Palmer went down to fellow Australian combination of Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy, 2-0.

Nikki Laird says the victory over the Americans to make it through to the semi-finals showed a great deal of character. She says, “We had four games today to make it through to the semis. And after losing to our fellow Aussies we knew we were going to have a tough run through the tournament because there are no easy games with the amount of international teams playing. We drew the Americans in the quarter-final and managed to find enough concentration and energy to get the job done. I am super proud of our team and what we have done so far and we’re excited about what is ahead of us.”

Becchara Palmer was equally impressed with the performance in the quarter-final, “What a day! I’m also super proud of our team. The American game was tough. They are two great players and we knew we wouldn’t get any cheap points. We made some great progress as a team in Cambodia last week, so this weekend was about building on that and testing ourselves against some high quality teams. This is one of the best national tour events we’ve ever had in Australia, so to be playing on Sunday is an honour.”

Laird and Palmer will now face fellow Australians, Artacho del Solar and Clancy in the semi finals, their second meeting in as many days.