The Australian duo, Mariafe Artacho Del Solar (21) and Nicole Laird (22), ended the Stavanger Beach Volleyball Major Series in a 17th place, but was happy after they qualified for the main draw.

– The week has been great. We always love being in Norway and in this city. We are excited that we qualified for the main draw and come trough to the next round. it was big for us, Artacho Del Solar says to AKB News.

Lost after great comeback
In the round of 24 they met Dominika Nestarcova and Natalia Dubovcova from Slovakia. That ended up being a tight game.

– It was a shame that we did not got to the top 10. We played well, but got beaten on consistency at some patches, witch I think it is what costs us at the end. At this level you need to make sure you are consistent all the way. All teams are great at this stage of the tournament, so it’s always a learning experiment.

In the second set the Australian girls were behind with a lot of points, but they managed to turn it around and win 22-20. However they lost the game in the third set.

– Yeah, it was a great set. It is not over until the last point. Nicky did some good serving there at the end which put some pressure at the other team. It was exited to take it trough to the end, but it was a shame that we could not close it up.

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Mariafe Artacho Del Solar (from left) and Nicole Laird under the tournament in Stavanger.

This years goal
And the goal for the season is to get a spot amongst the top 10 and maybe get a place on the podium at the end of the season.

– At the moment the goal is to have a consistent main draw spot, so qualify every time we play.

– And then make it in the top 10 eventually, and maybe the podium hopefully at the back end of the year, she continues.

Chasing the summer
Artacho Del Solar herself is from Lima in Peru, but moved to Sydney when she was elleven years old. Laird herself is from Sydney and the girls met while studying at Killara High School. The girls now live in Adelaide, so Norway is in other words a long way away from home.

– We are used to it and every time we travel, we are on the road for about 2-3 months at the time. It is hard to be away from home, but we love what we do and that’s why we are here.

In other words they kind of get summer all year around.

– Yeah, we chase the summer all the time, so we will go back during our summer back in Australia, and then we travel during the winter there, Artacho Del Solar says.

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