Dubai, UAE - 1st - challenge - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News


Akiko Hasegawa & Yurika Sakaguchi in action

Three Asian and three European teams won their pools at the start of the women’s main draw of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Dubai on Sunday. Japan celebrated two of their pairs making the top of the pool standings, while Switzerland’s Menia Bentele and Anna Lutz achieved two remarkable comebacks from a set behind to snatch the first place in Pool E.

· Watch all matches at the Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Dubai live on Volleyball TV.

In the first set of their first pool match, 20-year-old Bentele and 22-year-old Lutz suffered an emphatic blowout at the hands of China’s Jinjin Zeng and Xinxin Wang, but then they battled their way back to a 2-1 (9-21, 21-19, 15-12) win. In the pool final, the 17th-seeded Swiss duo downed another Chinese team, fifth-seeded Xinyi Xia and MeiMei Lin. After dropping the first set, Bentele and Lutz fought on to claim a 2-1 (15-21, 21-19, 15-10) victory and make it among the best 16 of a Challenge tournament for the first time. Zeng and Wang stayed alive in the tournament with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-18) win over Japan’s Suzuka Hashimoto and Reika Murakami in the third-place match.

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Another Japanese duo, however, sixth-seeded Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi did not lose a set on the way to the first place in Pool F – 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) over USA’s Katie Horton and Julia Scoles and 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) over Canada’s Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara. The Americans also advanced to the playoffs after a 2-0 (21-15, 21-3) shutout of France’s Clemence Vieira and Aline Chamereau for the third place in the pool.

Third-seeded Miki Ishii and Sayaka Mizoe, also of Japan, won Pool C after a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) shutout of Germany’s Leonie Kortzinger and Lea Sophie Kunst in their first game, and a 2-1 (21-10, 13-21, 15-12) victory over USA’s Savannah Simo and Jessica Gaffney in the pool final. The third place went to the German pair, who defeated another American team, Molly Turner and Madelyne Anderson, by a narrow 2-1 (19-21, 25-23, 15-13).


Ishii & Mizoe in side-out

The third Asian duo to triumph in pool play were Taravadee Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee. The fourth-seeded Thai pair also cruised to two straight-set victories, 2-0 (21-16, 21-9) over USA’s Alexandra Wheeler and Deahna Kraft, and 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) over Germany’s Anna-Lena Grune and Sarah Schulz. Wheeler and Kraft managed a 2-0 (21-16, 21-9) sweep of Finnish sisters Ida Sinisalo and Sara Sinisalo to stay in contention.

Norway’s Sunniva Helland-Hansen and Emilie Olimstad mastered a 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-12) upset of top-seeded Germans Isabel Schneider and Julia Sude for the first place in Pool A. Before that, the 12th-seeded Norwegians also needed three sets to overcome China’s Lvwen Yuan and Jie Dong, 2-1 (21-14, 19-21, 15-11). Bottom-seeded Canadian pair Alison Mckay and Katharine Wuttunee claimed a 2-0 (22-20, 21-17) victory over Yuan and Dong to progress in the tournament.

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There were no surprises in Pool B, where second-seeded Czechs Barbora Hermannova and Marie-Sara Stochlova topped the final standings on a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) shutout of USA’s Xolani Hodel and Hailey Harward, and a 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-9) comeback against China’s Lingdi Zhu and Fan Wang. Hodel and Harward delivered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) upset of Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Charanrutwadee Patcharamainaruebhorn to claim a spot in the playoffs.

Women’s action in Dubai resumes on Monday morning at 09:00 local time (05:00 UTC) with the two Round-of-18 matches, followed by the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals later in the day.