Porec, Croatia, July 6, 2018 - Women’s Beach Volleyball pairs from Austria, Greece, Turkey and the United States finished atop pools here Friday to lead 12 teams into Saturday’s elimination rounds at the at the Porec Open.
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In addition to the women’s play in the FIVB World Tour event, the 16-team men’s competition featured the first of two rounds of pool play Friday were pairs from Austria, host Croatia, Latvia, Sweden and the Ukraine won group matches to be guaranteed berths in Saturday’s elimination rounds.
Winning two pools play matches each in the women’s competition were fifth-seeded Merve Nezir/Aleyna Vence of Turkey, seventh-seeded Dimitra Manavi/Konstantina Tsopoulou of Greece, ninth-seeded Eva Freiberger/Valerie Teufl of Austria and 14th-seeded qualifiers Emily Sonny/Torrey Van Winden of the United States.
With their two wins, the four women’s group winners earned a “bye” into the quarter-finals to be play Saturday afternoon. For Sonny and Van Winden, the newly-formed American team is now 4-0 in the Porec Open after the pair earned a spot in the Main Draw after winning two qualifying matches Thursday.
Both Austria and Latvia had two teams each winning their opening men’s pool play matches Friday. Pacing the Austrian effort were top-seeded Simon Fruhbauer/Jorg Wutzl and 10th-seeded Simon Baldauf/Alexander Huber. Friday’s Latvian winners were fifth-seeded Mihails Samoilovs/Kristaps Smits and sixth-seeded Haralds Regza/Toms Smedins.
Other men’s team winning pool match Friday were second-seeded Martin Appelgren/Simon Boman of Sweden, third-seeded Oleksii Denin/Denys Denysenko of the Ukraine, fourth-seeded Josip Pribanic/Filip Silic of Croatia and eighth-seeded Tadej Bozenk/Danijel Pokersnik of Slovenia.
Kristaps Smits (center) of Latvia at the Porec Open net Friday against Norway
The Porec Open, one of three FIVB World Tour events being staged this week on the international Beach Volleyball circuit, is returning to the Croatian resort town for the fourth-straight season with the teams vying for a share of the 10,000 EUR total prize money pot.
With the medal matches for both men and women set for Sunday, the Porec Open is the sixth of nine events incorporated from the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) schedule into the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour for the 2017-2018 season. At the same time as the Porec Open is being staged, the CEV and FIVB will also be organizing the Anapa Open in Russia.
Turkey staged three of the first four events in Aydin (May 17-20), Alanya (May 31-June 3) and Manavgat, Turkey (June 21-24) with Austria hosting a tournament in Baden (June 14-17). Remaining CEV events being incorporated into the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour schedule are Samsun, Turkey (July 26-29), Ljubljana, Slovenia (August 3-5), and Vaduz, Liechtenstein (August 8-12).