Women’s Beach Pair go down to Italians

Women’s beach volleyball duo Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin could not Shauna Mullinmaintain their perfect start to London 2012 as they lost to Italian pair Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari at Horse Guards Parade this evening.

The British pair, who are ranked sixth, lost a tight opening set 21-18 but the second set was more one-sided and finished 21-12 to the Italian duo, who are the current reigning European champions.Dampney and Mullin can still progress to the knockout stages with victory over Russia on Thursday, but Mullin admitted they would need to improve their performance if they are to go through.

“Obviously my finishing and my touch today weren’t quite right – there were balls that pinged off me that I really should have finished, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a problem,” she said.“It’s very disappointing that we lost, the major thing  for us coming out of that match is if we’d have played two sets like we had in the first set, then I think we would be in a better frame of mind. It’s very disappointing to have lost that second set like that.”“I think it was more just a case that I felt under pressure with their serves, they’re good servers they put me under quite a lot of pressure, so I wasn’t able to stick it today,” she added.Dampney echoed her partner’s views, but said there were definite positives they could take from the game.“

GB SupportThere were some good plays and we’ve got to focus on the positives,” she said. “We’ll be fixing whatever it was that went wrong today. The Italians are European Champions so they’re a really strong team.”