Americans Alix Klineman/April Ross and Brazil’s Ana Patricia Silva Ramos/Rebecca Cavalacanti Barbosa Silva made their way to the Yangzhou Four Star title match with three wins apiece on Saturday.
Florida survived a road-test from South Carolina, while Missouri also picked up a road win at Ole Miss. Texas A&M and Arkansas held home court against Auburn and Mississippi State respectively.
No. 14 Michigan and Michigan State each picked up five-set road wins, while No. 3 Minnesota and No. 5 Wisconsin successfully defended their home courts in sweeps.
Minnesota increased its stranglehold on the top spot in the Big Ten standings at 7-0 with a home sweep of Illinois on Friday behind 15 kills by junior Alexis Hart.
Nine of the top 10 seeds moved on to the men’s Round of 16 at the Yangzhou Four Star. Three American teams rounded out the field, which also includes three Russians and three Brazilians.
Five American women’s teams are among the final 16 at the Yangzou Four Star. The marquee matchup of Saturday’s Round 2 with pit former partners Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross against each other with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
The star of the show thus far in the World Championships has been Italy’s Paola Egonu. The 19-year old has notched 182 total points (150 kills, 17 blocks, 15 aces) and also ranks among the top 10 in aces and kills.
The American women went 6-0 in Day 1 of pool play at the Yangzhou Four Star, while Ryan Doherty/Billy Allen were among the pool title winners on the men’s side at the Yangzhou Four Star on Thursday.
It was my last game. This farewell showed what our team is about. My heart is bleeding because I have to leave, but the team will grow without me.” – German captain Maren Fromm said in the final press conference of her 11-year career with the national team.
The Netherlands and Japan did what they needed to do to cement their spots in the World Championships Final Six and then some, each leapfrogging Serbia for the top two spots in Pool E.