Shepparton, Australia, February 1, 2018 – Justin Schumann and Mitchell Wakefield delighted the home crowd on the first competition day at the Shepparton one-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. They were the only Australian pair that made it successfully through Thursday’s qualifications and, alongside three North American teams, advanced to Friday’s men’s main draw in Victoria Park.
In the first qualification round, Schumann and Wakefield mastered a 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) victory in the all-Aussie clash with Gareth Mann and Bryce Poland. In the second, they took only 19 minutes to shut out the top-seeded duo in the qualification bracket, Richard Kilarupa and Moha Mea from Papua New Guinea, on the way to a landslide 2-0 (21-6, 21-10) win.
Third-seeded Eric Zaun and Adam Roberts are one of the two USA pairs who went through the qualification process successfully. They started directly in the second round claiming a tough 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) win against Canada’s Simon Fecteau-Boutin and Hugo Rosso-Bonneau, who had earlier won the only tie-breaker game of the day – 2-1 (21-15, 16-21, 15-13) against compatriots Liam Kopp and William Hoey.
The other American duo, Chase Frishman and James Avery Drost, went through two straight-setters against Australian teams before booking their spot in the main draw. They first delivered a 2-0 (21-10, 21-19) shutout of Casey Grice and Tim Dickson, and then went on to manage a 2-0 (21-17, 21-6) victory over Mark Nicolaidis and Ky Landers.
Beautiful joust in the match between Canada and Cyprus
The fourth available spot in the men’s main draw went to Canada’s Felipe Humana-Paredes and Cameron Wheelan. They started off with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) win against Japan’s Keisuke Shimizu and Takashi Tsuchiya and finished their qualification campaign with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-12) victory over second-seeded Cypriots Antonis Liotatis and Antreas Savvidis.