Porec, Croatia, June 26, 2017 - It was not a typical day of preliminary competition at a FIVB World Tour event here Monday as beach volleyball Olympians were playing not to be eliminated from the Swatch Major Series event at the Valamar courts in this Croatian seaside resort.
With three-time Olympic and FIVB world champion Kerri Walsh Jennings playing in the third of the three-country quota matches Monday with Nicole Branagh to gain a berth in Tuesday’s qualification tournament at the $600,000 Porec Major, an American and two Brazilian contests were played with the loser exiting the competition and the winner advancing to the next phase of play at the FIVB World Tour event.FIVB.com - Beach Volleyball
With hundreds of beach volleyball fans and enthusiasts watching the action, Walsh Jennings and 2008 Olympian Nicole Branagh lost a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) country quota decision in 34 minutes to compatriots Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar. With the win, Day and Hochevar will compete Tuesday in the qualifier while Walsh Jennings/Branagh await the next Swatch Major Series stop next week in the Swiss Alps village of Gstaad.
Prior to Walsh Jennings and 2008 Olympian Branagh’s match against compatriots Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar, the two Brazilian matches were played starting with Taiana Lima and Elize Maia avenging setbacks to Olympian Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado at FIVB World Tour events in Russia and the Netherlands to post a 2-1 (18-21, 21-14, 15-13) win in 48 minutes.
The setback eliminated Antonelli and Carolina from the competition after the pair topped the podium two weeks ago in The Hague starting with a 2-1 (21-19, 20-22, 15-13) win in 61 minutes over Taiana and Elize Maia in the country quota round. A month ago in Moscow, Antonelli and Carolina ousted Taiana and Elize Maia from the event with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-19) country quota win in 51 minutes.
In the men’s Country Quota confrontation for Brazil with a Rio 2016 Olympian (Pedro Solberg) and Nanjing Youth Olympian (George Wanderley) on different sides of the net, Pedro and Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes scored a 2-1 (15-21, 21-19, 15-9) win in 50 minutes over Vitor Felipe and Wanderley. Last month in Moscow, Guto and Pedro also prevailed over their Brazilian rivals 2-1 (21-16, 16-21, 15-11) in a 51-minute country quota match.