Espinho, Portugal, July 4, 2018 – The women’s main draw line-up at the Espinho four-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is now complete. After 12 straight-set qualification matches on the sunny Atlantic coast of Portugal, played on Wednesday, eight teams from eight different countries progressed to Thursday’s 32-team main draw.
On the men’s side, country quota matches for Brazil and USA were contested.
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Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska and Aleksandra Wachowicz were one of the two teams that managed to score two victories before securing their spot in the main draw. In the morning, they went past Portugal’s Joana Gonzalez and Daniana Esteves with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-13) shutout. In the afternoon, the Polish pair had a tough encounter with USA’s Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock, seeded third in the qualification bracket, but they dominated again to master a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) win.
“It is our second tournament together. So we are very happy to make the main draw again,” Gruszczynska said. “It’s so good to be on court together. But also everybody on our coaching staff contributed a lot to our wins.”
“We just really like playing with each other, so having the opportunity to play together is so much fun,” Wachowicz added. “We focus mainly on our side. We really want to work together and improve our game, so our primary responsibility is to take care of our side and if we do well, then it works out perfectly.”
The other team with two qualification wins, Brazil’s Ana Patricia Silva Ramos and Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva, started their day with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-11) victory over Portugal’s Brigida Ferreira and Daniela Loureiro and followed up with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) shutout of Switzerland’s Nicole Eiholzer and Elena Steinemann, seeded second in the qualification backet. With Tuesday’s country quota victory, the young South American team has already registered three wins on the Espinho sand.
All six of the other qualifiers received byes in the first qualification round and claimed victories in the second to progress to the main draw. They were Julie Gordon and Sophie Bukovec of Canada, Anna Behlen and Sarah Schneider of Germany, Agata Zuccarelli and Gaia Traballi of Italy, Yui Nagata and Minori Kumada of Japan, Ieva Dumbauskaite and Urte Andriukaityte of Lithuania and Angela Lobato Herrero and Amaranta Fernandez Navarro of Spain.
Ricardo spikes against George’s block in Brazilian country quota match
Miles Evans and William Kolinske won the country quota for USA. In a tough three-set duel with compatriots William Reid Priddy and Jeremy Casebeer, they recovered from losing the first set to emerge victorious with a 2-1 (16-21, 21-15, 15-7) turnaround.
The country quota for Brazil went to Ricardo Alex Costa Santos and Gustavo Albrecht Carvalhaes. In the deciding match, they managed a 2-0 (21-18, 21-11) victory over last year’s Espinho gold medallist George Souto Maior Wanderley and his current partner Thiago Santos Barbosa. Before that, George and Thiago achieved a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) victory over the third Brazilian candidate duo, Alvaro Morais Filho and Luciano Ferreira de Paula.