Challenge - Edmonton, CAN - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Andressa/Vitoria (BRA) vs. Ludwig/Lippmann (GER) - Pool E #5946943

Lippmann faces Andressa's block in the Pool E final in Edmonton

After four inconsistent Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour events together, Laura Ludwig and Louisa Lippmann seem to be finding their path as partners as the Germans shined on Friday during the opening day of the main draw of the Challenge tournament held in Edmonton, Canada.

The German veterans were among the six women’s pool winners at the Fan Park and will start the elimination rounds on Saturday in the Round of 16.

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A Rio 2016 Olympic champion, Ludwig, 37, and Lippmann, 28, became partners in the final months of 2022 and appeared on four Beach pro Tour events since then. The Germans had never won their pool before and with the two victories earned on Friday in Edmonton are guaranteed at least a ninth-place finish in Canada, matching their best results so far, at the 2022 Cape Town Elite16 and this year’s Saquarema Challenge.

The Europeans, who before playing in the main draw had won a pair of qualifier matches on Thursday, had a challenging first-round match against Swiss Olympic medalists Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré, but came out on top in the tie-breaker (21-16, 15-21, 15-12).

Andressa/Vitoria (BRA) vs. Ludwig/Lippmann (GER) - Pool E #5946947

Ludwig and Lippmann celebrate a successful main draw start in Canada

Their lives didn’t get any easier in the ‘pool final’, as they faced Brazilians Andressa Cavalcanti and Vitoria Rodrigues, who are fresh from taking silver at last week’s Espinho Challenge, but the Germans thrived again, securing another three-set (23-21, 17-21, 15-9) victory to win Pool E.

**Beach Pro Tour Edmonton Challenge – Match Schedule and Results**

Despite Andressa and Vitoria’s loss, Brazil still won two pools in Edmonton. One of them was Pool B, where Espinho Challenge champions Bárbara Seixas and Carol Salgado topped Canada’s Amanda Harnett and Lea Monkhouse in straight sets (21-8, 21-16) and Slovenians Tjasa Kotnik and Tajda Lovsin also 2-0 (21-17, 21-10).

In Pool A, Tainá Bigi and Victoria Lopes were the winners. The Brazilians overcame Argentinean Olympians Ana Gallay and Fernanda Pereyra in two sets (21-12, 21-9) in their debut and later needed all three sets (18-21, 21-16, 15-6) to defeat the new Canadian team of Heather Bansley and Sophie Bukovec.

Bansley/Bukovec (CAN) vs. Tainá/Victoria (BRA) - Pool A #5945524

Tainá pokes the ball over Bukovec's block

Spain took Pool C with 21-year-olds Daniela Álvarez and Tania Moreno. The youngsters had a pair of strong victories, beating Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee and Taravadee Naraphornrapat 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) and the Austrian sisters Dorina and Ronja Klinger also in straight sets (21-15, 21-16).

American qualifiers Kelley Kolinske and Hailey Harward had a lot of success in Pool D, finishing in first place. The two had a strong start, taking down Brazilian Olympians Ágatha Bednarczuk and Rebecca Cavalcanti in two sets (21-15, 21-19) and followed it up with another sweep (22-20, 21-16), this one against Swiss Zoé Vergé-Dépré and Esmée Böbner.

With two victories against European opponents, Italians Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi were the Pool F winners. The Saquarema Challenge champions started their campaign with by topping Spanish Liliana Fernández and Paula Soria 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) and returned to the court later in the day to prevail over Czechs Barbora Hermannová and Marie-Sara Štochlová also in two sets (23-21, 21-16) in the ‘pool final’.

With 18 of the 24 teams that started the tournament still in contention, the elimination rounds begin on Saturday – the Round of 18, Round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played during the day. The semifinals and medal matches will be held on Sunday in Edmonton.

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