Olsztyn, Poland, July 21, 2017 - The qualifying teams of Christopher McHugh/Damien Schumann of Australia and Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Aliaksandr Kavalenka of Belarus won matches here Friday morning to claim men’s pool titles at this week’s $300,000 Warmia Mazury Olsztyn Open.
Both teams had to win qualifying matches Wednesday before positioning themselves Thursday for a successful journey through their pool by upsetting higher-seeded teams as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns to Olsztyn’s Lake Ukiel venue for the third-straight season.
Seeded 22nd in Pool F, McHugh and Schumann defeated 11th-seeded Spanish Olympians Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) in 33 minutes Thursday before claiming the group title with a 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 15-13) win Friday in 44 minutes over 27th-seeded Italian Olympians Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri.
Competing in Pool B as the 31st-seeded team, Dziadkou and Kavalenka secured a bye to the second-round of elimination by defeating 15th-seeded Chilean Olympians and cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) in 34 minutes. The win marked the first-time the Belarus team had won a FIVB World Tour pool title along with guaranteeing the team a ninth-place finish this week to match their career best on the international circuit.
To gain an opportunity to win their pool, Dziadkou and Kavalenka upset second-seeded Saymon Barbosa/Alvaro Filho of Brazil 2-1 (21-23, 22-20, 15-8) in 50 minutes Thursday. The Brazilians captured the first FIVB World Tour gold medal this season in the United States and are currently ranked No. 4 internationally.
Other pool winners Friday were third-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States (Pool C), eighth-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil (Pool H), 10th-seeded Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter of Canada (Pool G), 13th-seeded Ryan Doherty-John Hyden of the United States (Pool D), 16th-seeded Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen of Mexico (Pool A) and 21st-seeded Martins Plavins/Haralds Regza of Latvia (Pool E).
While the women were scheduled for two rounds of elimination bracket play Friday, the men’s schedule featured the final pool play round with the first round of knock-out action. The Warmia Mazury Olsztyn Open, a four-star event on the 2017 FIVB World Tour calendar, concludes Sunday with the medal matches as the winning teams will share the $20,000 first-place prizes.