Apinya Saengpaeng and Jidapa Bunongkhun topped their pool at the 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championship in Thailand. The home pair won all three of their matches at Bangtao Beach in Phuket so far to advance straight to the last 16 alongside two teams from Russia and one each from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Ukraine and USA, who also won their pools. The remaining eighth finalists will emerge from Thursday’s first knockout round, where the eight pool runners-up will take on the eight third-placed duos in direct elimination battles.
Apinya & Jidapa bring home pride at U19 Worlds
Teams from Russia (two), Canada, Denmark, Italy, Ukraine and USA win remaining women’s pools in Phuket
Published 10:46, 08 Dec 2021
Top-seeded Apinya and Jidapa lost their opening set in Pool A on Tuesday morning, but fought back to celebrate with a narrow 2-1 (16-21, 21-16, 18-16) win over qualifiers Natalia Ann Binimelis Nicolau and Carolina Fernandez Da Silva of Spain. The home favourites produced convincing shutouts in their next two matches to finish the pool on top of the standings.
The first place in Pool B came down to Wednesday’s clash between the unbeaten teams of Mariia Bocharova and Elizaveta Gubina and Kylie Neuschaeferova and Michaela Brinkova. Defending champ Bocharova and her Russian teammate took a convincing 2-0 (21-10, 21-16) win over the Czechs to top the pool.
Pool C was in a similar situation before Wednesday’s deciding third-leg game between undefeated opponents, Valentina Gottardi and Aurora Mattavelli of Italy and third-seeded Desy Poiesz and Brecht Piersma of the Netherlands. The match went to three before the Italians could celebrate with a 2-1 (21-18, 23-25, 15-11) victory.
Denmark’s Clara Windeleff and Sofia Norager Bisgaard topped Pool D on a 3-0 win-loss record. The only set they lost in the pool was in their 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-12) upset of Spain’s Tania Moreno Matveeva and Ana Vergara in their second-leg match on Tuesday.
Three pairs finished the race in Pool E with 2-1 win-loss records, but it was Ukraine’s Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko who booked a direct ticket to the eighth finals after claiming the first place on point ratio. On Wednesday they lost to 28th-seeded Emma Glagau and Ruby Sorra of Canada by 2-1 (21-18, 11-21, 24-22), but then recovered with a 2-1 (18-21, 21-14, 15-10) upset of fifth-seeded Americans Xolani Hodel and Katherine Reilly, who finished runners-up, ahead of third-placed Glagau and Sorra.
27th-seeded Megan Kraft and Delayne Maple of USA were the lowest ranked team to win a pool in the women’s competition. The Americans did so in a particularly emphatic manner, allowing all three of their Pool F opponents to score only 60 points combined in the six sets against them.
Russian qualifiers Olga Gavrilova and Alina Salmanova, seeded 26th, were about as unequivocal in Pool G and claimed their spot in the last 16 without losing a single set and allowing their rivals only 67 points in total.
Hosts Thailand were very close to having their second pair progress straight to the second elimination round. Suchinna Choemphun and Patcharaporn Seehawong won their first two games in Pool H, both in tie-breakers, but when it came down to Wednesday’s decider against the other unbeaten team in the pool, Ava Mann and Jamie Santer, the Canadians came back from a set down to snatch the first place on the wings of a 2-1 (15-21, 21-15, 15-13) victory.
The last pool matches in the men’s competition will be played on Thursday. After the completion of the first two legs in the eight pools, there are 11 teams that are still undefeated and holding the best shots at topping their pool standings.
These are Thailand’s Netitorn Muneekul and Wachirawit Muadpha and Paraguay’s Santiago Mendoza and Jonathan Abel Reckziegel Gallas in Pool A, Czechia’s Tomas Semerad and Jakub Sepka in Pool B, Brazilian qualifiers Vilsomar Brito Bernardo Junior and Pedro Augusto Sousa De Oliveira in Pool C, Canada’s Daniil Hershtynovich and Kaden Schmidt in Pool D, Germany’s Maximilian Just and Momme Lorenz and Netherlands’ Kyran Versteegen and Mees Sengers in Pool E, Austria’s Tim Berger and Timo Hammarberg in Pool F, France’s Teo Rotar and Arthur Canet and Brazil’s Nicolas Capretti Schosler and Samuel Giacomo Oselame Bello in Pool G, and Estonia’s Karmo Saviauk and Kaur Erik Kais in Pool H.