2018-04-06 10:27:00 CET
Big game know-who pays off in Coolantanga
Just when you thought there might be two big upsets on day one of the Commonwealth Games, the experience of playing on the Beach Volleyball Major Series helped two fancied teams overcome the underdogs on Coolantanga Beach.
Canadians Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow faced two set points against Sierra Leone’s Patrick Lombi and Abu Bakar Kamara but dug in to take the first set 22-20 on their way to a gritty two-set victory Down Under.
“For sure we needed to pull on that big game experience,” Schachter told us afterwards. “It’s always tough coming into a major games, you’re going to have a few nerves but we’ve learned a lot from today and the first game is out the way.”
Pedlow added: “It’s good to get it under our belts. I think when someone pushes you when you don’t expect it, it’s character building. There’s a lot of value in a match like that.”
England’s number one team Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf have come close to reaching the main draw on the Beach Major Series – and their extra nous on court from playing on the World Tour was enough for them to register a 2-0 win over Mozambique’s Carlos Acacio and Delcio Soares.
“Playing in the big events, including in Fort Lauderdale, is all good experience which sets you up for a tournament like this,” said Sheaf after their straight sets triumph. “You never quite know how it’s going to feel when you’re actually out there but I think the experience helped us keep our rhythm and consistency. It was a surprising being out on the center court for a change, but it was a nice first game.”
The afternoon session began with the home crowd’s first look at Australia favorites Mariafe Artacho Del Solar and Taliqua Clancy. And the Aussie pair didn’t disappoint, beating Cypriot duo Mariota Angelopoulou and Manolina Konstantinou in straight sets much to the delight of the home crowd.