Satun, Thailand, April 9, 2018 – Four teams from four different countries emerged as pool winners and advanced directly to the quarterfinals of the SMM Pak Bara Beach Satun one-star stop on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, as main draw action got underway on Monday. Only one of them, Indonesia’s Dhita Juliana and Putu Utami, managed to do so without losing any sets along the way.
The third-seeded Dhita and Putu were also the highest-ranked pair to win their pool. Fourth-seeded Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan, eighth-seeded Sayaka Mizoe and Suzuka Hashimoto of Japan and tenth-seeded Caitlin Ledoux and Emily Stockman of USA were the other three teams that scored two wins each securing a spot among the best eight of the tournament.
The Indonesian duo powered through a couple of shutouts in Pool C – 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) against Thailand’s Pronsuda Kritsana and Yodsaphat Pakham and 2-0 (21-15, 22-20) against USA’s Irene Pollock and Amanda Dowdy. Japan’s Yukako Suzuki and Kaho Sakaguchi joined the Americans in the first single elimination round with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-28) victory over Pronsuda and Yodsaphat for the third place in the pool.
Tough battle above the net in the match between Indonesia and USA
In Pool A, Mizoe and Hashimoto persevered through the longest running match of the day to claim a 54-minute 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 15-13) win in the all-Japanese clash with Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori, before upsetting the number-one-seeded home favourites Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee of Thailand with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-14) victory. Kusano and Take took the third place in the pool with a 2-0 (21-10, 23-21) win against Nai-Han Kou and Pi Hsin Liu of Chinese Taipei in the pool’s losers’ match.
Ledoux and Stockman delivered a 2-0 (22-20, 21-13) shutout of Indonesia’s Yokebed Eka and Desi Ratnasari to start their main draw campaign in Pool B and then came back from a set down to hammer out a 2-1 (13-21, 21-16, 15-12) upset of second-seeded Paraguayans Michelle Sharon Valiente Amarilla and Erika Sofia Mongelos Bobadilla. Yokebed and Desi took the last train to the next round, leaving another Thai pair behind with a 2-0 (25-23, 21-17) victory over wildcards Sumintra Sow and Chanthira Khanok.
Erika spikes past Ledoux’s block in the Pool B first place match
Mashkova and Tsimbalova showed good composure under pressure, winning both of their Pool D games in the tie-breakers. The Kazakhstani duo took off with a 2-1 (21-19, 21-23, 15-7) win against Japan’s Yui Nagata and Minori Kumada and converted that into a ticket to the quarters with a 2-1 (18-21, 21-11, 15-4) victory over Thailand’s Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak. Spain’s Paula Soria Gutierrez and Maria Belen Carro Marquez de Acunya cruised to a 2-0 (21-13, 21-16) win against Nagata and Kumada to take the third place in the pool and stay in contention.
Women’s main draw action in Thailand will resume on Tuesday at 9.00 local time with the first single elimination round to be followed by the quarterfinals later in the day.