Monday, 27 May 2024

Both Women’s Pairs Advance at World Tour Finals

The FIVB World Tour Finals has brought good news for American beach volleyball fans as both Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil and Alix Klineman/April Ross have made it to the playoffs. However, there’s a twist: these two pairs will face off against each other in the quarterfinals.

The highly anticipated match between Claes/Sponcil and Klineman/Ross is scheduled for Saturday, October 9 at 6:30 a.m. Pacific in Cagliari, Italy. This will be their second encounter this year, with Claes/Sponcil emerging victorious in their previous matchup in May, leading them to a tournament championship in Sochi, Russia.

Claes/Sponcil secured their spot in the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in Pool B. Despite winning their first two matches, they narrowly lost 2-1 to Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda Santos Lisboa of Brazil and Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, who were seeded No. 2 and No. 1 in the pool, respectively. With a record of 2-2 and six points, Claes/Sponcil finished pool play.

On the other hand, Klineman/Ross finished second in Pool A. Although they didn’t play on Friday, they advanced to the playoffs based on a three-way tie for second place with Julia Sude/Karla Borger of Germany and Tanja Huberli/Nina Betschart of Switzerland. The tiebreaker favored the Americans due to their higher point ratio in matches among the three teams. Borger/Sude claimed third place, while the Swiss pair was eliminated.

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The winner of the Claes/Sponcil vs. Klineman/Ross match will proceed to the semifinals to face Pavan/Melissa. In the other quarterfinal, Borger/Sude will take on Agatha/Duda, with the winner earning a spot against Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina.

The United States is vying for its first women’s medal at the World Tour Finals, and the victorious team in the American quarterfinal contest will have an opportunity to compete for at least a bronze medal.

Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb finished fourth in Pool A, with a record of 1-3 and five points. Gibb, who is retiring from professional volleyball at the age of 45, concluded his career in the pool play match against Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo of Italy. Nicolai/Lupo, along with Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner (Czech Republic), Steven van de Velde/Christiaan Varenhorst (Netherlands), Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (Norway), Alex Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Netherlands), and Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan (Qatar), advanced to the next round from the pool play.

Fans can catch all the action of the World Tour Finals by streaming the matches on Beach Volleyball World’s YouTube channel.