U23 world champions pursue bigger stake in Netherlands

Sydney, Australia, March 27, 2015 – FIVB Beach Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship winners Nicole Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar are keen to represent Australia at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Women’s World Championship in the Netherlands from June 26 to July 5.

The Australian pair are banking on their U23 World Championship stint where they won the title in Poland last year. The pair remains to be level-headed and serious in their approach into conquering a higher goal for this new season.

“The U23 World Championship is a very strong event for us and an important result for our 2014 season, but the senior World Championship is a completely different ball game,” Laird said. “Besides the Olympic Games, the World Championship is the biggest event on the beach volleyball calendar.”

Winning the World Championship title in the Netherlands comes with an advantage of qualifying to the Olympic Games.

“Being close to the Olympic Games in Brazil, it brings with it added challenges which we are excited about,” Laird added. “The winner gets a ticket straight into the Olympic Games, so every team will be pumped up.”

Laird is confident with her partner Artacho del Solar to take Australia back in the beach volleyball world map and they are ready to take on the world’s best.

“Since Poland, we have developed a lot as a team,” Laird said. “We’ve spent a lot of time working on the physical side of our game so we can match it with the best for longer.”

For now, the pair is focused on the final round of the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour in Perth to defend their title.


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