The FIVB beach season is finally underway and Canadians Sam Pedlow and Grant O'Gorman have started their first FIVB season by winning all five of their matches through qualification and pool play.
They qualified for the Main Draw with pair of wins over Switzerland and Austria on Tuesday and were placed in Pool H with hosts China and two Russian teams. The pair opened pool play with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) over Wu Jaixin/Li of China, then moved on to the 8th-ranked team of Semenov/Krasilnikov from Russia who fell 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 15-12) to the Canucks. They finsihed things off on Wednesday when they dropped Prokopiev/Gocharov 2-0 (21-19, 21-17). This put Sam and Grant atop of their pool, guaranteeing them a Top 10 finish at the first event this year. They will play the winner of two Swiss teams in Round 2 of playoffs.
Binstock/Schachter Go Down Swinging
Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter made it through the qualifier as well in their first outing this year. The pair dispatched a team from Australia then a team from Germany to make it to the Main Draw, where they found themselves in a tough pool. They wrestled an upset Samoilovs/Smedins of Latvia 21-19, 24-26, 15-8, but fell to the Netherlends' Stiekema/Varenhorst then to Marcos/Garcia of Spain, both in third-set heart-breaks. Those two loses were enough to put them at the bottom of Pool E were they finish the tournament in 25th.
Broder/Valjas Get Tough Draw
Canada's top team in 2013 faced some adversity right out of the gate this year. Their first match of the year was a three set barn-burner against Syrtseva/Moiseeva of Russia where they lost a tough one 21-18, 19-21, 19-21. Next was beach legend Juliana who has partnered with Antonelli to come back to the FIVB. Unfortunately for our Canadians, Juliana's 30th rank was a tough match-up, as they fell 2-0 ( 21-17, 21-10). The pair have one last match of pool play against the third ranked Ludwig/Walkenhorst of Germany who currently sit at 2-0.
Update: We got a tip from a reader and apparently the FIVB website has a score wrong. The second set of the Brazil match was actually 21-16.
MacTavish/Whitaker Fall in Qualification
Kacie and Caleigh started things off in the qualifier nicely with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) over Norway then ran into the tough Austrian team of Schützenhöfer/Plesiutschnig to whom they fell 21-17, 15-21, 8-15.
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