FIVB Chetumal Three Star
- Chetumal, Mexico
- Oct. 24-28, 2018
- Women Only
After 32 pool play matches on Thursday, the women’s field was narrowed from 32 to 24 with eight pool titles and accompanying free passes to the Round of 16 being awarded.
Thirteen of the matches went to tiebreak, including three pool title matches. Top seeded Canadians Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson rallied for a three-set win over France’s Lezana Placette/Alexia Richard (14-21, 21-11, 15-8) to take Pool A.
Five American teams remain, including Pool C winners Kerri Walsh Jennings/Brooke Sweat. The No. 3 seeds swept Switzerland’s Kim Huber/Melina Hubsher (21-8, 21-14) and France’s Alexandra Jupiter/Aline Chamereau (21-13, 21-13).
Six of the top eight seeds won pool play titles with No. 4 Riikka Lehtonen/Niina Ahtainen of Finland and No. 7 Jolien Sinnema/Laura Bloem of the Netherlands being the exceptions. Each won their opening round matches in straight sets before falling in pool title matches.
The Finnish pair fell to collegiate stars Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara of Canada in tiebreak in Pool D (12-21, 21-16, 15-13). The Dutch fell in straight sets to Russians Mariia Bocharova/Maria Voronina (21-19, 21-12).
- Pool A: #1 Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson (Canada)
- Pool B: #2 Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth (Italy)
- Pool C: #3 Kerri Walsh Jennings/Brooke Sweat (USA)
- Pool D: #13 Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara (Canada)
- Pool E: #5 Maria Clara/Elize Maia (Brazil)
- Pool F: #6 Taina Silva Bigi/Victoria Lopes Pereira (Brazil)
- Pool G: #10 Mariia Bocharova/Maria Voronina (Russia)
- Pool H: #8 Martha Revuelta/Zaira Orellana (Mexico)
Americans Brittany Howard/Kelly Reeves lost to Taina/Victoria in the Pool F title match (21-15, 21-17) after downing countrywomen Kim DiCello/Irene Pollock in the opening round (21-16, 21-16).
DiCello/Pollock bounced back with a tiebreak win over Canadians Julie Gordon/Shanice Marcelle (21-16, 12-21, 15-9) to claim a spot in Friday’s elimination matches in her first tournament back since giving birth to her son in June.
“I’m so thrilled to be back,” DiCello said. “It’s an honor to be here and play against the best again. Irene called me to fill for her partner and I couldn’t say no. We’re going to play each match better than the last. It was so hot in our first game and we faced a really talent team, but we really enjoyed ourselves there and learned a lot. We’ll take these lessons for tomorrow.”
Kimberly Smith/Jace Pardon and Caitlin Ledoux/Geena Urango also moved on to Friday’s action, winning their second round matches to claim the third place spot in their respective pools.
Smith/Pardon rebounded from a tiebreak loss to Bocharova/Voronina (14-2,1, 21-18, 15-6) with a 21-11, 21-16 win over Canada’s Helene Rancourt/Sarah-Jeanne Meunier-Bedard.
Ledoux/Urango went the distance in both of their matches to claim their spot in Friday’s first round, falling to Revuelta/Orellana (19-21, 21-18, 15-12) before besting Canada’s Megan Nagy/Caleigh Cruickshank (21-9, 12-21, 15-12) in the final match of the day.
Lost this close first match to Mexico, but won our second match to make it to playoffs tomorrow #Chetumal #QuintanaRoo @SmartyHealth @USAVBeach @usavolleyball pic.twitter.com/7hkEsUBtvV
— Geena Urango (@urango) October 26, 2018
The first elimination round is slated to begin at noon ET Friday, while Round 2 begins at 4 p.m. ET.