FIVB Tokyo Three Star
- Tokyo, Japan
- July 25-29, 2018
The women completed the first round of pool play with three of the four American teams coming out on top. Meanwhile, pool play winners were crowned on the men’s side after each pair played two matches.
Americans Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick were among the victors to earn free passes to the second knockout round. The duo posted a straight set win over Japan’s Yoshiumi Hasegawa/Keisuke Shimizu (21-17, 21-18) and rallied past Norway’s Mathias Berntsen/Hendrik Mol 17-21, 22-20, 15-10 to take the Pool D title.
Other pool winners were:
- Pool A: Ahmed Tijan/Cherif Younousse (Qatar)
- Pool B: Lazar Kolaric/Stefan Basta (Serbia)
- Pool C: Philipp Arne Bergmann/Yannick Harms (Germany)
- Pool D: Patterson/Slick (USA)
- Pool E: Martin Ermacora/Moritz Pristauz (Austria)
- Pool F: Maxime Thiercy/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat (France)
- Pool G: Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt (Chile)
- Pool H: Safa Urlu/Hasan Huseyin Mermer (Turkey)
Berntsen/Mol played two tiebreak matches on the day, besting Estonia’s Kusti Nolvak/Mart Tissaar before falling to the Americans in the Pool D title match.
Four of the pool title matches were decided in tiebreak with Kolaric/Basta, Patterson/Slick, Ermacora/Pristauz and Urlu/Mermer going the distance. Kolaric/Basta and Patterson/Slick each overcome opening set losses.
All three American men’s pairs won their first pool play match, but Chase Budinger/Sean Rosenthal and Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans fell in the pool A and Pool G finales. The pairs both move on to Round 1 action on Friday.
Men’s first round knockout matches are slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET Thursday, while women’s pool play action continues at 9:40 p.m. ET.
Six of the 16 women’s opening pool play matches went to tiebreak, including ones featuring Americans Betsi Flint/Emily Day and Irene Pollock/Amanda Dowdy. Pollock/Dowdy overcame a 21-16 first set loss to Canada’s Julie Gordon/Sophie Bukovec, while Flint/Day hung on after dropping Set 2 to Japan’s Yukako Suzuki/Kaho Sakaguchi.
“We just continued to stick together,” Pollock said. “We stayed calm and focused on our side and I think that’s what made the difference in the third set. They’re a tough team and we play with them a lot. We know their tendencies, so you know it’s going to be a tough battle when we play each other.”
Team USA’s Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil cruised to their first round win over Canadians Charlotte Sider/Marie Christine Lapointe. Qualifiers McKenna Thibodeau/Madison Witt stumbled in their pool play opener, falling 2114, 21-14 to Japan’s Megumi Murakami/Miki Ishii.
Two pairs each from Finland, Norway and Thailand also posted opening round wins.