A Look At The Women’s Pools For The 2017 Vienna World Championships

  0 Carly DeMarque | July 05th, 2017 | Beach, FIVB Majors Series, FIVB World Tour, News, Pro Beach


  • July 28 to August 6
  • Vienna Centre Court, Vienna, Austria
  • Co-ed
  • Championships
  • Event Site

With the 2017 World Beach Championships coming up later this month in Vienna, Austria, it is time to look at the pools and how the teams compare to each other.

The championships will be held from July 28th to August 6th, with $1 million in prize money to be won. The women’s championship match will be held on August 5th while the men’s will be on August 6th.

The tournament is set up with round-robin play with pools of four teams. The top two teams from each of the 12 pools will automatically move on to the round of 32, as will the top four 3rd-place teams from pool play. These teams will be selected based on match points, set-point ratios and/or rally-point ratios. The rest of the 3rd place teams will head to a “Lucky Loser” round where the remaining eight teams will play a single head-to-head match to finish the round of 32 participants.

The top six pools in the competition feature “easier” matchups for the top-seeded team in the pool, while in the bottom six pools the competition becomes more even offering up the chance for upsets and tough matches.

Women’s Pools

Pool A (WCH seed, Team, Country)
1, Larissa/Talita, BRA
24, Bieneck/Schneider, GER
25, Walsh Jennings/Branagh, USA
48, Strauss T./Holzer K., AUT

Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes earned the #1 seed at the World Championships, which is well deserved as they are currently the world ranked #1 team. France/Antunes took the first gold medal of the 2017 season at the five-star event in Fort Lauderdale as well as a gold medal finish in Moscow.

Isabel Schneider/Victoria Bieneck of Germany will come in at the #24 seed in the tournament and #20 in the world rankings, with consistent finishes throughout the season, making them a wild card team in the tournament.

Coming into the championships as a #25 seed in Kerri Walsh Jennings and new partner Nicole Branagh. The two partnered up in May after Walsh Jennings and former teammate April Ross disbanded their partnership. The two come in at the middle of the pack due to Branagh not having as many World Tour points as Walsh Jennings, making it a fitting place for them to work their way back to the top. Walsh Jennings/Branagh have struggled since partnering up, as they lost to Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar in a country quota match in Porec in straight sets. The two are currently entered in the Gstaad Major and will look to improve upon their shaky start.

Teresa Strauss/Katharina Holzer of Austria has the lowest amount of points on the tour, that have been selected for the tournament (not including four pairs that have 0 points). The pair has not played in a match together this season on the FIVB World Tour, but are partnering up for the World Championships – they will be either an easy win or an unexpected challenge for the team in Pool A.

Pool B
2, Laboureur/Sude, GER
23, Elsa/Lobato, ESP
26, Echeverria/Leila, CUB
47, Andrea/Gorda, COL

Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude come into the tournament as the #2 seed, as well as the #2 world, ranked team on the tour with 3,320 points. The pair has consistently finished in the top-ten in the 2017 season, with a third place finish at the Fort Lauderdale tournament, giving the 720 points to their name. Their consistency will bring them far into the Vienna World Championships.

In at the #23 position is Angela Lobato with partner Elsa Baquerizo. The two have played in only two World Tour events together, placing low at each. Their inconsistency as partners could throw off their play in Vienna.

Pool C
3, Agatha/Duda, BRA
22, Meppelink/van Gestel, NED
27, Gordon/Saxton, CAN
46, Gaudencia/Too, KEN

Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa have been a strong force on the World Tour this season, finishing in second place at the Fort Lauderdale tournament – their second appearance as a duo. Their first FIVB World Tour win came in the home country of Brazil at the Rio event. In Moscow and The Hague, the pair fell just short, finishing in third place at each. In Porec, the duo finished in their lowest position of the season at 17th. The pair has a significant age difference of 15 years, which can be a blessing or a challenge for the pair. A blessing in that Lisboa is so young she can move to the ball quicker and has a new perspective on the game, while Bednarczuk has so much experience behind her, that it can help Lisboa to learn from her experience on the tour. The pair enters Vienna as the #3 seed while also garnishing the #4 world rank slot.

Coming in at the #22 position for Vienna is Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands, who is also ranked #67 in the world rankings. The pairs highest finish this season on the tour is 9th place at both Fort Lauderdale and Rio. At Porec, the pair struggled and finished the tournament at the 25th position.

Canada’s Julie Gordon and Camille Saxton enter Vienna as the #27 seed. The pair has done well at the smaller one and two starred events this season, with back-to-back wins in Australia’s one-star event in Shepparton and the two-star event in Sydney. At larger tournaments, they have struggled to enter the money rounds of play, finished just out of reach at the 33rd spot.

Pool D
4, Ludwig/Walkenhorst, GER
21, Borger/Kozuch, GER
28, Glenzke/Großner, GER
45, Mahassine/Zeroual, MAR

Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany come in at the #4 seed in the tournament, with a #9 World Rankings. The pair has fallen off slightly since winning the 2017 Rio Olympic Games due to Ludwig having shoulder surgery in the offseason. The pair’s first tournament together this season was in Rio, where they took fifth. At both Moscow and The Hague, they finished in the ninth position.

Margareta Kozuch is in her first season on the FIVB World Tour, having partnered up with Karla Borger, coming in at #21 in Vienna. The pair has only entered into three World Tour events on the year, starting with a 17th place finish in Fort Lauderdale, followed a ninth-place place finish in Xiamen and a fifth place finish in Moscow. The pair has consistently gotten better as the year has gone on, making them a strong force in Pool D.

Rounding out the heavily German Pool D is Julia Grossner and Nadja Glenzke at the #28 seed. The pair has not placed high in higher starred tournaments but took ninth at the three-star Xiamen tournament.

Pool E
5, Summer/Sweat, USA
20, Davidova/Shchypkova, UKR
29, Mashkova/Samalikova, KAZ
44, Rimser/Plesiutschnig, AUT

Summer Ross and Brooke Sweat have proven themselves this season to be real contenders on the tour. They will enter the Vienna Championships as the #5 seed while ranking #18 in the world rankings. The pair has entered into four World Tour event this season with a fourth place finish in Fort Lauderdale, a second place finish in Moscow, a fifth place finish in The Hague and dropped back a bit at the Porec Major, finishing in 17th place.

Valentyna Davidova and Ievgeniia Shchypkova of the Ukraine will start as the 20th seed in Vienna and rank #15 in the world rankings. In Rio, the pair finished ninth, their highest on the season. In Moscow and The Hague, the duo ended at the 25th position and recently the 17th position in Porec.

Pool F
6, Hermannova/Slukova, CZE
19, Lehtonen/Lahti, FIN
30, Filippo/Erika, PAR
43, Alfaro/Charles C. , CRC

In at the #6 seed are Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic who currently ranks #3 in the world. On the year, the pair has not finished outside of the top-ten on the tour, with their best performance coming in Porec, earning the second place prize.

Kiikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti-Liukkonen of Finland come in as the #19 seed for Vienna. The pair has played on and off together this season, with ninth place finishes at the two tournaments they participated in – Moscow and Porec. Their lack of consistency as partners could end up being a detriment to their success in Vienna.

Pool G
7, Pavan/Humana-Paredes, CAN
18, Yue/Wang, CHN
31, Menegatti/Perry, ITA
42, Flier/van Iersel, NED

Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada will come to Vienna as the #7 seed. The pair opened up their season with a second place finish in Rio. Their greatest success has come in Porec, where they won the top prize.

In at the #18 seed is China’s Fan Wang and Yuan Yue who opened up their World Tour presence with a second place finish in Xiamen. Recently, they finished in fifth place at the Nanjing tournament.

Pool H
8, Barbara/Fernanda, BRA
17, Heidrich/Vergé-Dépré A, SUI
32, Elize Maia/Taiana Lima, BRA
41, Manhica/Muianga, MOZ

Brazil’s Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves have been a strong force on the tour this season.Thye started out the year with a fifth-place finish in Fort Lauderdale, followed by a first place finish in Xiamen. Recently in Porec, the squad took the fourth place position.

Anouke Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich of Switzerland enter Vienna as the #17 seeded squad. They have consistently kept up with their opponents on the tour, with a second place finish in The Hague being their best finish of the 2017 season.

Pool I
9, Maria Antonelli/Carol, BRA
16, Hughes/Claes, USA
33, Pischke/Broder, CAN
40, Nzayisenga/Mutatsimpundu, RWA

Carolina Solberg Salgado/Maria Antonelli of Brazil will begin Vienna at the #9 seed. The two only recently paired up beginning in Moscow, where they finished in fifth place while turning around to win first in The Hague. The pair failed to qualify for the Porec tournament, losing in a country quota match.

From the United States, Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes have begun their professional volleyball careers with a consistent start. The pair played together all through college at USC, where they finished their senior season with a NCAA championship. The pair finished in fifth place in the debut at Rio and again in Porec.

Pool J
10, Betschart/Hüberli, SUI
15, Wilkerson/Bansley, CAN
34, Zonta/Gallay, ARG
39, Gabi/Agudo, VEN

Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart of Switzerland enter as the #10 seed. The pair has been fairly consistent all season with their play, recently finishing in third place in Porec. The pair’s consistency has allowed them to jump to the #5 world rank this season.

Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson of Canada have found themselves at the 15th seed in the tournament. The pair has finished in the top-ten of all competitions on the World Tour that they have entered with a ninth place finish in Porec.

Pool K

11, Bawden/Clancy, AUS
14, Ross/Fendrick, USA
35, Laird/Ngauamo, AUS
38, Xue/Wang X. X., CHN

From Australia, Taliqua Clancy and Louise Bawden take the top spot in Pool K at the #11 seed. The pair has played in four World Tour events this season, with all being finished in the top-ten. In Porec, the pair ended their play with a ninth place finish.

April Ross and Lauren Fendrick have only begun playing with each other, with their only World Tour event being Moscow this season together. The two have enough points in the World Tour to give themselves a small boost to the #14 position in the tournament. Ross has been out for the past few weeks resting a toe injury that occurred on the AVP Tour in New York a few weeks back, she is looking good to enter Vienna healthy enough to play.

Pool L
12, Schwaiger S./Schützenhöfer, AUT
13, Kolocova/Kvapilova, CZE
36, Birlova/Makroguzova, RUS
37, Radarong/Udomchavee, THA

Katharina Schutzenhofer and Stefanie Schwaiger of Austria come into the tournament as the #12 seed. The pair has been fairly inconsistent this season but has done just well enough to earn a decent seed for Vienna. Their highest finish on the World Tour this season was Xiamen at fifth place.

Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova of the Czech Republic come in just behind Schutzenhofer/Schwaiger in the seeding at #13. This will pose a difficult pool for the two squads with such equal competition. The pair finished fifth at Fort Lauderdale earlier this season then again in Porec.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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