Strong US teams make it into Sydney quarterfinals
American men’s teams had a strong start at the FIVB 3-star in Sydney, an event that is part of the Olympic qualification process for Tokyo 2020. Five teams made it into the round of 16 that was played today at beautiful Manly Beach. While Theo Brunner and Olympic volleyball champion Reid Priddy as well as William Kolinske and Miles Evans lost their matches against Estonian and French teams, three US teams advanced to the quarterfinals.
Beach volleyball veteran John Hyden and his partner Ryan “Avatar” Doherty beat Italians Abbiati/Andreatti in three sets. Stafford Slick and Billy Allen eliminated Arnas Rumsevicius and Lukas Kazdailis from Lithuania. And top seeds Jake Gibb and Taylor Crab battled successfully against Chinese team Gao/Li. After a tight first set, the two Americans had an easy run in the second taking advantage of an injury on the opponent’s side (24:22, 21:17).
In the quarterfinals that will be played tomorrow, Hyden/Doherty will face Enrico Rossi and Adrian “Mr. Skyball” Carambula from Italy. In an all-American duel, Stafford Slick and Billy Allen will play against Jake Gibb and Taylor Crab. Further quarterfinal matches are the Grimalt brothers (Chile) playing Tilsaar/Nolvak (Estonia) and French team Krou/Rowlandson facing Msykiv/Samoday (Russia).
On the women’s side, only one Australian team delighted the local crowds. Nicole Laird and Becchara Palmer made it into the quarterfinals. Top-seeds Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy showed a convincing performance in the first set but finally lost against Germans Karla Borger and Julia Sude in an early top teams’ clash. The number 2 seeds from Germany beat the top-seeded Aussies in three sets (15:21, 21:19, 15:11). In the quarterfinals the Germans will face Betsi Flint and Emily Day who followed Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings as second US team in the women’s quarterfinals.