Sydney, Australia, November 24, 2017 – An all-US clash, Kimberly DiCello and Emily Stockman vs. Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen, has shaped up as one of the fixtures in the women’s round of 16 at the Sydney two-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Their compatriots Jace Pardon and Lara Dykstra also made Saturday’s single elimination stage after Friday’s pool play on Manly Beach.
Three teams from Japan, two from Australia and one each from Austria, China, Germany, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Slovenia and Thailand complete the eighthfinal line-up in Sydney.
Flint and Larsen topped Pool D after two straight-set victories – 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) over China’s Xinxin Wang and Lvwen Yuan and 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) over Germany’s Kim Behrens and Sandra Ittlinger. Pardon and Dykstra joined their fellow Americans and the Germans into the next round after winning the losers’ duel with China.
Net action in the game Behrens and Ittlinger vs. Pardon and Dykstra
DiCello and Stockman qualified from Pool E, where they won their first match by 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) against Latvia’s Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina. Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee topped the pool after a 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) win against the Americans. The Latvians also made the round of 16.
Tanarattha Udomchavee sets the ball
The top-seeded Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy had to beat two Japanese duos in Pool A on the way to the single eliminations – 2-1 (21-23, 21-13, 15-7) over Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori and 2-0 (21-8, 21-17) over Sayaka Mizoe and Suzuka Hashimoto. However, both of their opponents progressed into the next rounds as well.
Only two teams from Pool B made the round of 16. China’s Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia, seeded second, claimed a tough 2-0 (21-19, 24-22) win against Australian wildcards Katie Bartoli and Christine Jenkins, before delivering a 2-1 (19-21, 21-12, 15-1) victory over New Zealand’s Julia Tilley and Alice Bain.
Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia celebrate a point against New Zealand
In Pool C, Japan’s Azusa Futami and Akiko Hasegawa won both of their matches. After losing the first set against Thailand’s Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak, they managed to turned the course of the game to stamp a 2-1 (20-22, 21-16, 15-8) victory. In the winners’ match, the Japanese pair hammered out a 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) win against Australia’s Louise Bawden and Jessyka Ngauamo. Slovenia’s Tjasa Jancar and Tjasa Kotnik won the losers’ matchup with the Thai duo and also advanced to the round of 16.
Two European teams progressed from Pool F after shutting out their opponents in the first leg of pool play. When they faced each other in the winners’ clash, Austria’s Katharina Schuetzenhoefer and Lena Plesiutschnig mastered a 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) victory over Poland’s Aleksandra Gromadowska and Katarzyna Kociolek.
Katharina Schuetzenhoefer about to serve against Australia’s Phoebe Bell and Brittany Kendall
After the first whistle at 08:15 local time, two single elimination rounds will be played on Saturday to determine the line-up for Sunday’s semifinals.