FIVB Haiyang Three Star
American women’s pairs won four of the eight pool titles at the Haiyang Three Star on Thursday.
Six of the 21 pool matches went the distance, including the title match in Pool F between sixth-seeded Americans Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock and Canadians Julie Gordon/Sophie Bukovec (21-17, 19-21, 15-10). No. 24 Sarah Sponcil/Caitlin Ledoux also went the distance in its Pool H championship match, besting Japan’s Yui Nagata/Minori Kumada 21-14, 14-21, 15-11.
The tournament’s top three seeds each received a first round bye in pool play, but top seeded Wang Fan/Xia Xinyi of China faced a challenge after that, dropping their opening set to Israel’s Noy Chorin/Anita Deev 21-19, before pushing through 21-16, 15-9.
No. 2 seed Emily Stockman/Kelley Larson and No. 3 Emily Day/Betsi Flint each won in straight sets to move on in the main draw.
Rounding out the group of pool winners were: Australia’s Phoebe Bell/Jessyke Ngauamo, Germany’s Sarah Schneider/Cinja Tillmann and Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee.
On the men’s side, the highest seeded pairing to win a pool title was No. 6 Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans from the United States, who registered a pair of straight set wins in Pool F.
Australia’s Christopher McHugh/Zachery Schubert, the No. 10 seed, are the only other Top 10 team to win their pool, doing so by outlasting countrymen Durant/Schumann in tiebreak (27-25, 13-21, 15-13).
Rounding out the pool winners were:
- Pool A: No. 16 Nejc Zemlijak/Jan Pokersnik (Slovenia)
- Pool B: No. 15 Jyrki Nurminen/Santeri Siren (Finland)
- Pool C: No. 19 Hasan Mermer/Safa Urlu (Turkey)
- Pool D: No. 13 Kusti Nolvak/Mart Tissaar (Estonia)
- Pool E: No. 12 Alvaro Filho/Luciano Ferreira de Paula (Brazil)
- Pool H: No. 24 Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller (Austria)
In addition to McHugh/Schubert, three others secured their spot in the next round with tiebreak victories: Mermer/Urlu, Nolvak/Tissaar and Seidl/Waller. All three dropped the opening sets of the title matches, before coming through for the victory.
Americans Adam Roberts/Troy Field and Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick each split their pool matches, winning in the opening round and falling to Mermer/Urlu and Nolvak/Tissar respectively in title matches.