The second Futures event of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour 2023 season is already in full swing. After Wednesday’s qualifiers and the pool stage on Thursday and Friday, the direct elimination brackets are all set for the conclusion of the tournament in Coolangatta on Saturday and Sunday.
All set for Coolangatta knockouts: watch them live on YouTube!
Twelve teams per gender continue their quests on Australian sand
Publicado 08:03, 31 Mar 2023
12 teams per gender survived in the tournament after Friday’s competition day. Eight of them will participate in the first knockout round on Saturday morning. Another four are awaiting the winners for the quarterfinal matches on Saturday afternoon to set up the semifinal line-ups for Sunday’s climax.
In the men’s main draw, Germany’s Simon Kulzer & Bennet Poniewaz, China’s Ha Likejiang & Wu Jiaxin, Thailand’s Pithak Tipjan & Poravid Taovato and New Zealand’s Bradley Fuller & Alani Nicklin topped their pools to advance directly to the quarterfinals.
In Pool A, ninth-seeded Kulzer & Poniewaz, who had pushed their way through the qualifiers without losing a set, added another two straight-set victories to their Coolangatta streak, 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) over Japan’s Shiro Furuta & Hiroki Dylan and 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) over top-seeded Australians James Takken & Solomon Bushby. Bottom-seeded Jordan Hoppe & Charles Siragusa of USA upset the Japanese in the pool’s third place match to join the Aussies into the eighthfinals.
Second-seeded Ha & Wu, winners of the previous Futures tournament in Mount Maunganui Beach in New Zealand, lived up to the expectations and finished first in Pool B. They started with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) shutout of Australia’s Garang Anyang & Declan Tiso and followed up with a 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-12) comeback victory over Japan’s Kensuke Shoji & Jumpei Ikeda. The third place in the pool went to the home team.
Pithak & Poravid faced few issues in their quest to top Pool C. The third-seeded Thai duo cruised to a 2-0 (21-12, 21-12) sweep of Australia’s Mitchell Croft & Timothy Ebbs and went on to master a 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) victory in the pool final against New Zealand’s Thomas Reid & John McManaway. In a tough all-Australian third place battle, Lucas Josefsen & Ben Hood emerged victorious in an extended tie-breaker to stay alive in the competition.
Fuller & Nicklin were also quite emphatic in their Pool D. The fifth-seeded Kiwis produced two convincing straight-set victories over Australian opponents, 2-0 (21-13, 21-15) against Bryce Poland & Christopher Blake and 2-0 (21-14, 21-11) against D'Artagnan Potts & Kaia Clarkin. The third place went to Thailand’s Surin Jongklang & Dunwinit Kaewsai.
The home fans had much more to cheer about on the women’s side, where two Australian pairs, top-seeded Georgia Johnson & Jasmine Fleming and fourth-seeded Caitlin Bettenay & Tara Phillips, jumped straight into the quarterfinals by winning their pools. The other two seeding leaders, number two Majabelle Lawac & Sherysyn Toko of Vanuatu and number three Darby Dunn & Olivia Furlan of Canada, also made it directly to the last eight of the tournament.
Johnson & Fleming did not allow much suspense in Pool A, with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-11) blowout of compatriots Kyla Sanchez & Cassandra Dodd in their first match and a 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) shutout of New Zealand’s Julia Tilley & Olivia MacDonald in the pool final. Japan’s Shion Tsubouchi & Maho Yabumi also made it to the knockouts as the third-placed team from that pool.
Lawac & Toko had a difficult start in Pool B, but quickly recovered to claim a 2-1 (17-21, 21-12, 15-5) victory over Sweden’s Louise Maneskold & Malin Bergholm. The Vanuatu duo were more straightforward on the way to the first place in the pool, 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) over Japan’s Harumi Sakai & Miharu Kashihara. Australia’s Elizabeth Alchin & Kayla Mears finished third in the pool.
Similarly, Dunn & Furlan lost their first set in Pool C, but went on to win the next four and top the standings: 2-1 (20-22, 21-10, 15-4) over Vanuatu’s Chantale Leow Willie & Loti Joe and 2-0 (24-22, 21-16) over Australia’s Jana Milutinovic & Stefanie Fejes. Another home pair, Rebecca Ingram & Stefanie Weiler, won the third place match to stay alive in the tournament.
Bettenay & Phillips delivered two straight-set victories in Pool D. First, they hammered out a 2-0 (21-15, 21-13) sweep of France’s Manon Rebuffel & Melody Benhamou. Then, they managed a 2-0 (21-17, 22-20) win over Japan’s Kana Motomura & Riko Tsujimura. The French duo took the third place to advance.
Eighthfinal action on Saturday starts at 08:30 local time (22:30 UTC on Friday) with the men’s fixtures. The first women’s elimination matches are set to begin two hours later, at 10:30 (00:30).