No rest for the wicked on the FIVB Tour, as the Klagenfurt A1 Grand Slam is already in full swing, and a few Canadian teams are bouncing back from poor outings in Long Beach.
Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley failed to win a set last week, and were dropped to the qualifier. Not only did they manage to win that one, a 18-21, 24-22, 17-15 win over Arvaniti/Tsiartsiani of Greece, but are currently 2-0 in Pool H. They defeated No. 9 Chukwuma/Schwaiger of Austria 23-21, 21-6, then came out on top against No. 8 Borger/Büthe or Germany, 16-21, 21-14, 15-13. They play Maria Clara/Lili of Brazil tomorrow for top spot in their pool.
Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas also went winless in SoCal, but have guaranteed a top 17 finish in Austria. They dropped their first match to the second-ranked Czech team of Kolocova/Slukova, 25-23, 21-15, but bounced back with a big 25-23, 23-21 win over Americans Fendrick/Sweat. Although they still play Summer/Day of the USA tomorrow, the win secured their spot in the next round.
Maverick Hatch and Christian Redmann came within inches, but couldn't grab a win in the Main Draw last week. This week, they've qualified for the fourth-straight event with a pair of wins. The first coming over Horrem/Eithun of Norway, securing it with a 15-7 win in the 3rd, then followed it up with a gigantic win; 28-26, 16-21, 18-16 over the top ranked team in the qualifier Lucena/Doherty of the United States. This was the first win for Hatch/Redmann over the pair. They will be in Pool D along with Samoilovs/Smedins of Latvia, Hyden/Bourne of the U.S., and Gabathuler/Gerson of Switzerland.
Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke continue to be perfect in FIVB qualification when they defeated Americans Hughes/Pavlik 16-21, 22-20, 15-10 to qualify. Melissa showd all of her guts when she dislocated her shoulder mid-match, only to pop it back in and get the win. Unfortunately, the pair decided to pull out in order to rest for the Stare Jablonki GS next week in Poland.
Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk get started tomorrow, in Pool H with No. 8 Ricardo/Álvaro Filho of Brazil, No. 9 Doppler/Horst and No. 24 Kantor/Losiak.
Kacie MacTavish and Caleigh Whitaker once again had a tough go in the qualifier. They won the first match over the Netherlands 23-21, 21-15, then pushed Maria Clara/Lili to the limit, but falling 28-26, 21-13, 15-9.