Without dropping a single set in pool play, USA’s Sara Hughes & Kelly Cheng cruised directly into the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 women’s quarterfinals in Ostrava as one of the four pool winners. So did Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes & Brandie Wilkerson. Terese Cannon & Sarah Sponcil of the United States and Cinja Tillmann & Svenja Muller of Germany booked the other two direct tickets to the last eight of the tournament. The eight teams that placed second or third in the final pool standings will have to play an additional knockout round on Saturday to join the quarterfinalists.
Hughes & Cheng fly into Ostrava quarterfinals
Cannon & Sponcil, Tillmann & Muller and Melissa & Brandie also win their pools to jump into the last eight of the Elite16 tournament
Publicado 04:01, 02 Jun 2023
Having started off their Ostrava campaign with a straight-set victory over the world’s number three team Barbara Seixas & Carol Solberg of Brazil on Thursday, Hughes & Cheng continued their Pool C journey with two more shutouts on Friday. First, the Americans mastered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) win over Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy & Mariafe Artacho Del Solar of Australia, seeded third in Ostrava, taking advantage of the many unforced errors of the opponents. Then, they dominated over compatriots Betsi Flint & Julia Scoles on the way to a 2-0 (21-13, 21-11) sweep. The three-way tie between the remaining teams in the pool was resolved on point ratio in favour of Clancy & Mariafe for the runner-up spot and Scoles & Flint for the third place, leaving Barbara & Carol out of contention.
Melissa & Brandie followed up on their two straight-set wins on Thursday with another one on Friday to top the final Pool D standings on a flawless record. The Canadian qualifiers handed another shutout, 2-0 (21-19, 21-16), to fourth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk & Rebecca Cavalcanti of Brazil to send them home without a set won at Agatha’s Beach Pro Tour debut after her baby break. In a direct duel for the second place in the pool, Switzerland’s Nina Brunner & Tanja Huberli disappointed the home crowd with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) victory over Czechia’s Barbora Hermannova & Marie-Sara Stochlova, most visibly dominating in blocking and serving.
Reigning world champions Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) & Ana Patricia Ramos of Brazil, the number one team in the FIVB World Ranking and the top seeds of the tournament, handed US qualifiers Terese Cannon & Sarah Sponcil their first loss of the tournament. Despite the 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) defeat, the Americans kept their place on top of the Pool A table to progress to the quarterfinals. The victory also secured the South Americans’ spot in the eighthfinals as they ended up in second place on a 2-1 win-loss record. In what proved to be a crucial battle for the third place in the pool, USA’s Kristen Nuss & Taryn Kloth claimed a 2-0 (23-21, 21-9) win over European champions Anastasija Samoilova & Tina Graudina of Latvia, their first of the tournament, but enough to overtake the opponents in the standings and send them home.
Last year’s Ostrava winners Cinja Tillmann & Svenja Muller of Germany and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medallists Anouk Verge-Depre & Joana Mader of Switzerland registered their second victories in Friday morning’s second leg of Pool B action. Capitalizing on plentiful opponent errors, the Germans outpaced Italy’s Marta Menegatti & Valentina Gottardi to take a narrow 2-1 (21-17, 13-21, 16-14) win, while the Swiss hammered out a 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) shutout of the world’s fourth-ranked team Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands, to set up a head-to-head clash with each other for the first place in the pool.
In a remake of last year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship third place match, when a grave shoulder injury practically cost Mader and her partner not only the bronze medals, but also the next over 10 months of competing, Tillmann & Muller outplayed the opponents to snatch a 2-0 (21-10, 21-19) victory on a 20-point match high from Tillmann and proceeded straight to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Second-seeded Stam & Schoon survived the face-to-face battle for the third place in the pool with a 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-6) comeback win over Menegatti & Gottardi to move on to the eighthfinals. Stam was on fire with 29 points towards the victory, including six kill blocks and three aces. On the other side of the net, Gottardi finished with 20 points, including five aces and three blocks.