FIVB Xiamen Four-Star
- Xiamen, China
- April 17-21, 2018
Three American women’s pairs made the quarterfinals (Round 3) of the Xiamen Four-Star with Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar and April Ross/Alix Klineman advancing after dropping their opening sets, while No. 5 seed Sara Hughes/Summer Ross moved on with a straight set victory.
Only No. 23 seed Claes/Hochevar, who are playing in their first tournament together, remained standing as the Final Four was set. The duo added a straight set win over No. 23 Joy Stubbe/Marleen van Ieresel to their Round of 16 upset of the No. 9 duo from Switzerland, Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre.
“We’ve had some gnarly battles and that turnaround was quite quick and so playing through exhaustion we went extra innings with both Swiss teams,” Hochevar said. “We didn’t have any extra energy to burn, we had to play really clean and we did, so we’re feeling great going into the semis to be honest, now it’s new life, now it’s fresh.”
No. 13 seed Ross/Klineman fell victim to No. 7 Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Santos Lisboa of Brazil in three sets, including a 29-27 Set 2 win for the Americans. Hughes/Ross won their opening set 22-20 against No. 1 overall seed Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, but dropped two deuce sets (221-19, 16-14) to wrap up the match.
The only Round 3 match not including an American duo went to Australia’s No. 11 Mariafe Artacho Del Solar/Taliqua Clancy in straight sets, as the duo ousted No. 2 seed Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany. The Aussies took out Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings/Nicole Branagh in a three-set rally in Round 2, spoiling the duo’s first appearance since Walsh Jennings was injured in July.
The women’s semifinals are set for 9:05 and 10:05 p.m. ET Saturday with Claes/Hochevar facing Artacho del Solar/Clancy and Pavan/Humana-Paredes taking on Agatha/Duda.
In men’s action, the field also was narrowed from 16 to 4, including semifinal play. After all was said and done, it will be an all-Russian final with No. 7 Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin facing No. 8 Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko for the gold. Meanwhile, Brazil’s No. 10 Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt will take on the No. 1 overall seed Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland for third place.
Krasilnikov/Liamin posted straight set wins in rounds 2 and 3, including a Round 2 win over Americans Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb, before fighting through a three-set affair with Alison/Bruno in the semis.
Stoyanovskiy/Velichko sailed through to the second straight title match, following a silver in Doha in March, with three straight set wins. The duo downed Brazilians Alvaro Filho/Saymon Barbosa Santos and Polish qualifiers (No. 29) Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner before facing top seeded Kantor/Losiak in the semis.
“It’s an amazing feeling, we made it again, the second final in a row, second tournament, it’s unbelievable for us,” Stoyanovskiy said. “It was a really hard match for us because Poland played very well and they are one of the strongest teams in the World Tour and they are the number one seed here and are a really good team.”
Even with the loss, it was an outstanding tournament for Perusic/Schweiner, whose best performance to date had been a gold medal at the 2017 Montpellier One Star.
Women’s Round 2
Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude (Germany) def. Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova (Czech Republic) 21-19, 21-17
Mariafe Artacho del Solar/Taliqua Clancy (Australia) def. Kerri Walsh Jennings/Nicole Branagh (USA) 19-21, 21-16, 20-18
Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar (USA) def. Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre (Switzerland) 17-21, 21-18, 20-18
Joy Stubbe/Marleen van Iersel (Netherlands) def. Maria Antonelli/Carol Solberg Salgado (Brazil) 21-18, 17-21, 15-9
April Ross/Alix Klineman (USA) def. Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina (Russia) 18-21, 21-16, 15-13
Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Santos Lisboa (Brazil) def. Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia (China) 21-18, 22-20
Sara Hughes/Summer Ross (USA) def. Kim Behrens/Sandra Ittlinger (Germany) 21-14, 21-18
Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes (Canada) def. Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider (Germany) 21-13, 21-18
Women’s Round 3
Mariafe Artacho del Solar/Taliqua Clancy (Australia) def. Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude (Germany) 21-16, 21-10
Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar (USA) def. Joy Stubbe/Marleen van Iersel (Netherlands) 21-15, 21-16
Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Santos Lisboa (Brazil) def. April Ross/Alix Klineman (USA) 21-18, 27-29, 15-13
Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes (Canada) def. Sara Hughes/Summer Ross (USA) 20-22, 21-19, 16-14
Men’s Round 2
Alexander Horst/Clemens Doppler (Austria) def, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Netherlands) 23-21, 21-19
Viacheslav Krsailnikov/Nikita Liamin (Russia) def. Taylor Crabb/Jacob Gibb (USA) 21-11, 21-17
Anders Berntsen Mol/Christian Sandlie Sorum (Norway) def. Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins (Latvia) 25-23, 21-17
Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt (Brazil) def. Vitor Felipe/Guto Carvalhaes (Brazil) 21-14, 23-21
Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner (Czech Republic) def. Adrian Heidrich/Mirco Gerson (Switzerland) 22-20, 17-21, 15-13
Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko (Russia) def. Alvaro Filho/Saymon Barbosa (Brazil) 21-19, 21-19
Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek (Poland) def. Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira (Sapin) 18-21, 21-19, 15-13
Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak (Poland) def. Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter (Canada) 21-18, 21-12
Men’s Round 3
Viacheslav Krsailnikov/Nikita Liamin (Russia) def. Alexander Horst/Clemens Doppler (Austria) 21-19, 24-22
Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt (Brazil) def. Anders Berntsen Mol/Christian Sandlie Sorum (Norway) 21-13, 21-19
Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko (Russia) def. Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner (Czech Republic) 21-16, 21-13
Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak (Poland) def. Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek (Poland) 21-15, 21-17
Viacheslav Krsailnikov/Nikita Liamin (Russia) Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt (Brazil) 21-12, 11-21, 15-10
Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko (Russia) def. Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak (Poland) 22-20, 21-17