Mel Coutts’ dream of playing beach volleyball at Rio 2016 ended when the City of Edinburgh player and partner Lynne Beattie lost in the fourth round of the CEV Continental Cup in Thessaloniki, Greece.
After coming through three rounds, this penultimate Olympic qualifier proved a step too far as the pair lost 2-0 to Finland, then Greece, who progress to next year’s the final qualifier.
After losing to Finland, Beattie and Coutts faced a must-win match against Greeks Panagiota Karagkouni and Pigi Anna Metheniti. It started well enough, but their opponents then reeled off five unanswered points to take control and they ran away with it 21-14, 21-18.
“We are disappointed we couldn’t do something better,” Beattie admitted. “We had our chances and I think we were competitive in set two but we are a pretty new team and we can improve.”
Maria Tsiartsiani and Vasiliki Arvaniti had earlier beaten Scotland’s second pairing Catherine Smy and Joanne Morgan 21-10, 21-10. Finland’s Taru Lahti and Riikka Lehtonen had beaten Smy and Morgan 21-9, 21-12 while Essi Hasu and Anniina Parkkinen followed up with a 21-14, 21-13 win over defeated Beattie and Coutts.