Hamburg, Germany, August 17, 2018 - After a disappointing setback in their first match Thursday at the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by vodafone, Germans Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude have regained control in their quest for a “final four” berth at this week’s US$800,000 event at Rothenbaum Stadium.
Seeded first in the 10-team field, Laboureur and Sude rekindled their hopes here Friday in winning their group at the season-ending FIVB World Tour event by defeating previously-unbeaten and fifth-seeded Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson of Canada 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) in a 38-minute Pool A match.
“We knew that in this tournament anyone could beat anyone," said Laboureur, who is playing in her fourth-straight World Tour Finals with Sude. "We knew we could beat them, but at the same time we needed to be really careful because they are really strong. We’re very excited and we’ll put everything in the last game and hopefully we can top our pool.”
After being upset in one of Wednesday’s matches by dropping a 2-1 (21-14, 21-19, 15-8) decision in 44 minutes to 10th-seeded Sara Hughes/Summer Ross of the United States, Laboureur and Sude regained their winning ways Thursday with a 2-0 (24-22, 21-19) win in 41 minutes over eighth-seeded and reigning European champions Sanne Keizer / Madelein Meppelink of The Netherlands.
With Bansley and Wilkerson currently leading Pool A with a 3-1 match mark and a 1.0438-point ratio (167 points scored, 160 points allowed), Laboureur and Sude can overtake the Canadians by defeating fourth-seeded Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado of Brazil Saturday mid-day and maintaining their current point ratio of 1.0976 (135 scored, 123 allowed).
Antonelli and Carolina can also move ahead of Bansley and Wilkerson if the Brazilians defeat Laboureur and Sude and improve their current point ratio of 1.0400 (130 scored, 125 allowed) by at least out-scoring the Germans by five or more points.
With deadlock looming in both Pool A and Pool B, the first tie-breaker is a team’s rally point ratio (points scored divided by points allow) with the head-to-head results between the two tying teams used if the point ratio is tied. Bansley and Wilkerson defeated Antonelli and Carolina 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) Thursday in 36 minutes.
In Pool B, a three-way tie exists with teams from Australia, Brazil and the Czech Republic as each pair has a 2-1 record. Two of the deadlocked teams meet Saturday mid-day with second-seeded Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic playing third-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa of Brazil.
Seventh-seeded Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy of Australia created the deadlock by posting a 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) win in 37 minutes over Agatha and Duda Friday afternoon after Hermannova and Slukova dropped a late morning match to sixth-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in 36 minutes.
Artacho and Clancy play the last women’s pool play match Saturday against ninth-seeded Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider of Germany as the Australians knowing they need a victory to win the group along with know how many points need to score and what they can allow to win the “point ratio” tie-breaker.
Heading into play Saturday Artacho and Clancy have a 1.1322-point-ratio (137 points scored, 121 points allowed) as compared to 1.0423 (148 scored, 142 allowed) for Hermannova/Slukova and 1.000 (129 scored, 129 allowed) for Agatha and Duda.
The top three teams from each pool advance to the elimination rounds with the winning pairs earning a “bye” into Sunday’s “final four” schedule. The second- and third-place finishers in each group with advance to Saturday’s quarter-finals the two winners gaining spots in the semi-finals as Sunday’s finalists will be bidding for a share of the $150,000 first-place prize – the largest person in Beach Volleyball history.