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Beach volleyball duo still in contention

August 2, 2012 17:52 pm

Great Britain beach volleyball duo Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney snatched a lucky loser place after losing 25-23 21-13 to Russia in their final Pool F clash on Thursday afternoon.

Mullin and Dampney won their opening match against Canada but were heavily beaten by Italy in their second preliminary phase clash, meaning they needed victory against Russia on Thursday to be sure of securing a place in the knockout stage.

Their opponents also needed a result to ensure their progress and proved too strong, winning in two sets at Horse Guards Parade. Mullin and Dampney, who finished third in their pool with four points, will now be keeping a keen eye on Thursday night's 10.30pm draw as one of the four lucky losers.

Russian duo Evgeniya Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova edged a tight first set, with the latter growing in confidence as the match went on.

Mullin stole points with some smart cross-shots and spikes, but the Russians finally took the set when Mullin fired into her own net.

The British pair took umbrage with some strict refereeing decisions, with Russia finding a different gear in the second set.

Ukolova took control at the net on her way to 25 points, with the eastern European pair easing to a 21-13 victory to secure their place in the round of 16.

Mullin said: "I am really disappointed obviously. We had three set points in the first set but we couldn't close it out and we were a bit aggressive with our serving. I think we should have made them play a bit more. We're disappointed with the second set.

"That was a match we had to win to get in the top 16 and not have to play this evening so we could recover, but now we have to go back and there's lots of hard work to do before the match tonight."

A raucous crowd did their best to inspire the duo, with Dampney saying: "They've supported us the whole way. We really appreciate it."

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