Both New Zealand beach volleyball teams have advanced to the quarter-finals after a day of contrasting fortunes.

The men – Brad Fuller and Sam O’Dea – won their final match against Canada 21-19, 21-16.

Though the New Zealanders had to work hard, especially in the first set, they have developed into an efficient combination, buoyed by the confidence of being unbeaten in Birmingham.

The women’s team – Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley – suffered their first defeat when they went down 32-30, 21-10 to Canada, and progress to the quarter-finals as the second place-getter in their group.

The first set of the women’s match developed into an epic. New Zealand led 10-5 early on, but were pegged back at 15-15. The Canadians were in the box set at 20-18, but then things got really tight.

New Zealand had a couple of chances, at 21-20 and 23-22, but otherwise had to continually save set point as both teams strove for a two-point advantage. On and on they went until the Canadians finally prevailed.

The New Zealanders struggled to bounce back after all that drama and could offer only moderate resistance in the second set, but the feeling was that on another day they might well have the beating of the Canadians at the business end of the tournament.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
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