- Itapema, Brazil
- May 16-18, 2018
Eighty-five teams (45 women, 40 men) from 28 countries signed up to compete in the Itapema Open in Brazil, the host city’s first time in the FIVB spotlight.
Qualification rounds began on Wednesday with seven men’s and eight women’s teams advancing to the 32-team main draw.
Seven Olympians were among the women’s qualifying field: Dutch pair Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink, Russians Ekaterina Birlova/Evgenia Ukolova, Argentina’s Ana Gallay and Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Laura Giombini.
Birlova/Ukolova and Menegatti/Giombini were eliminated in the first qualifying round, while Keizer/Meppelink earned a bye to the second round and took care of business with a 21-19, 21-13 win over Brazil’s Juliana/Andressa. Gallay and her partner Fernanda Pereyra moved on to the main draw after their Round 2 opponents withdrew due to injury.
Also moving on to the women’s main draw were Americans Emily Day/Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman, Swiss pairs Nicole Eiholzer/Elena Steinemann and Laura Calijori/Dunja Gerson, Josi/Lili (Brazil) and Andrea Strbova/Natalia Dubovcova (Czech Republic).
Eiholzer/Steinemann knocked out Brazil’s Maria Clara Salgado/Elize Maia Secomandi for the second time this season, winning in straight sets to earn their spot in Thursday’s action.
??’s @EmDay6 & @BetsiFlint are into the main draw of the Itapema Open following a victory over ??!! #BeachWorldTour pic.twitter.com/BYaOvwRori
— Beach Volleyball (@FIVBBeach) May 16, 2018
On the men’s side, seven teams moved on, with three German duos leading the way. Just one of the three Brazilian teams vying for a spot made it through – Ramon Ferreira/Fernando Magalhaes, who outlasted Swiss pair Simon Hagenbuch/Quentin Metral in a tiebreak win to earn Ramon’s first FIVB main draw berth since 2015.
“To be able to celebrate your birthday and advance to the main draw in the same day is amazing,” Ramon said. “Fernando and I deserved it. I’m thrilled to be here and to win such an important match on my birthday. The tournament will be tough as there are several teams we don’t know well, but the atmosphere is fantastic and we want more.”
Germany will be represented by Phillipp Bergmann/Yannick Harms, Lorenz Schumann/Nils Ehlers and Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler. Also advancing to the main draw were: Norway’s Mathias Bernsten/Hendrick Mol, Uruguay’s Marco Cairus/Mauricio Vyeto, Lithuania’s Lukas Kazdailis/Arnas Rumsevicius and Austria’s Simon Fruhbauer/Jorg Wutzl.
The lone American duo in the qualifiers, Reid Priddy/Jeremy Casebeer were knocked out by Wutzl/Fruhbauer in three close sets, 21-19, 19-21, 15-12.
Main draw play for the men and women begins on Thursday morning with pool play.
Women’s Qualifying Round 1
Juliana/Andressa (Brazil) def. Menegatti/Giombini (Italy) 22-20, 21-16
Bonnerova/Nakladalova (Czech Republic) def. Birlova/Ukolova (Russia) 21-19, 17-21, 15-12
Eiholzer/Steinemann (Switzerland) def. Matei/Vaida (Romania) 21-16, 21-18
Taina/Rebecca (Brazil) def. Lobato/Amaranta (Spain) 21-13, 26-24
Women’s Qualifying Round 2
Keizer/Meppelink (Netherlands) def. Juliana/Andressa (Brazil) 21-19, 21-13
Strbova/Dubovcova (Czech Republic) def. Lunde/Ulveseth (Norway) 21-12, 21-13
Josi/Lili (Brazil) def. Murakami/Ishii (Japan) 21-16, 21-18
Emily Day/Betsi Flint (USA) def. Bonnerova/Nakladalova (Czech Republic) 22-20, 21-17
Eiholzer/Steinemann (Switzerland) def. Maria Clara/Elize Maia (Brazil) 21-17, 21-18
Calijori/Gerson (Switzerland) def. Futami/Hasegawa (Japan) 18-21, 21-17, 15-8
Gallay/Pereyra (Argentina) def. Bocharova/Voronina (Russia) – Injury for Team B
Kelly Larsen/Emily Stockman (USA) def. Taina/Rebecca (Brazil) 21-16, 21-17
Men’s Qualifying Round 2
Ramon Gomes/Fernando (Brazil) def. Metral/Hagenbuch (Switzerland) 21-19, 13-21, 15-13
Bergmann/Harms (Germany) def. Burlacu/Macneil (Canada) 21-13, 2-17
Vieyto/Cairus (Uraguay) def. Hevaldo/Arthur (Brazil) 21-17, 21-19
Rumsevicius/Kazdailis (Lithuania) def. Keith/Cull (Canada) 21-16, 18-21, 15-8
Thole/Wickler (Germany) def. Jo/Leonardo (Brazil) 21-15, 21-11
Ehlers/Schumann (Germany) def. Thiago/Adrielson (Brazil) 21-15, 21-13
Wutzl/Fruhbauer (Austria) def. Priddy/Casebeer (USA) 21-19, 19-21, 15-12