#8 Seeds Barbara/Fernanda Upset on Day 1 of FIVB Beach Worlds

  0 Braden Keith | July 28th, 2017 | Beach, FIVB Majors Series, International Volleyball, News, Pro Beach


Most of the top 12 seeds, who are favored to win their groups. began their tournament early on Friday. That includes the defending Olympic, European, and World Tour champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, who beat Mahassine Siad and Imane Zeroual of Morocco in a dominant 2-0 (21-10, 21-12) result.

As the 4th-seed, the win was expected, but now Ludwig/Walkenhorst, who are still getting back into their rhythm after off-season Walkenhorst shoulder surgery, will be challenged by more familiar foes. Their Pool D has 3 German pairs in it, and the Germans will be much more familiar with Ludwig/Walkenhorst and much better prepared to handle them.

Top Seed Victories on Day 1 – Women’s

  • #4 Ludwig/Walkenhorst (Germany) def. Siad/Zeroual (Morocco) 2-0
  • #9 Maria Antonelli/Carol Solberg Salgado (Brazil) def. Charlotte Nzaylsenga/Denise Mutatsimpundu (Rwanda) 2-0 (FORFEIT)
  • #10 Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberil (Switzerland) def. Gabi Brito/Norisbeth Agudo (Venezuela) 2-0
  • #11 Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy (Australia) def. Nicole Laird/Jessyka Ngauamo (Australia) 2-1
  • #12 Stefanie Schwaiger/Katharina Schutzenhofer (Austria) def. Varapatsom Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee (Thailand) 2-1

Three American women’s pairs also began their tournaments on Friday with victories. 16th-seeded Sarah Hughes and Kelly Claes  easily swept Canada’s 33rd seeded Taylor Pischke and Jamie Lynn Broder 2-0 (21-15, 21-14).

The 14th-seeded April Ross and Lauren Fendrick had a tougher task against China’s 38ht-seeded Chen Xue/Xinxin Wang, but still managed a 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-9) victory. Ross and Fendrick are still getting used to each other after recently forming following the split up of last year’s Olympic bronze medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, but thanks in part to 5 Fendrick blocks and a lethal 3-aces service game from Ross, they were able to win in 3.

The 3rd American pair to play on Friday was Summer Ross and Brooke Sweat, the #5 seeds, who won 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) – the identical score to Hughes/Claes – in Pool E over Austrians’ Rimser/Plesiutschnig.

The 4th American pair, Nicole Branagh and her brand new partner Emily Day, will get one extra day to practice together – they don’t start play until Saturday.

There were two upsets in Friday’s action – one more significant than the other. Kazakhstan’s Mashkova/Samalikova, the 27th seeds, swept Ukraine’s #20 seeds Davidova/Shchypkova 2-0 (21-18, 21-16).

The more significant result came in pool H, where 32nd-seeds Elize Maia/Taiana Lima beat 8 seeds Barbara/Fernanda 2-1 (10-21, 21-16, 17-15) in a Brazil-vs-Brazil battle. While Barbara and Fernanda are a new pairing this year, they have a mountain of experience. Barbara, with then-partner Agatha, won silver at the 2016 Olympic Games and won the 2015 World title. That same year, Fernanda won silver playing with Taiana Lima, and it was Lima who came back to beat her old partner on Saturday.

The match became almost a head-to-head battle between the former partners – Fernanda scored 31 of her team’s 42 offensive points, while Lima had 22 of her team’s 37 offensive points. While Fernanda had 5 aces and 4 blocks, it was Lima’s efficiency in the 2nd and 3rd sets (75% success and 56% success, respectively) that made the difference, simultaneously with Fernanda tying up (just 33% and 50%, respectively, in the 2nd and 3rd sets, after an 80% opener). Overall, Lima was finding the corners way more often in the match than was Fernanda, who was hitting most of her shots more toward the middle of the court.

The top two teams in each pool automatically advance to the round of 32, while only four of the 12 3rd-place teams get the same. The rest of the 3rd-place teams go to a Lucky Loser round. With the loss, Barbara/Fernanda will now probably need to win their last 2 games in the pool to avoid having to play their way through the Lucky Losers draw.

Day 1 Women’s Results:

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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