Two American women’s teams and two Italian men’s teams were among the ones who achieved two wins each in Thursday’s qualifications at the second Sofia 1-star stop on FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2021. Duos from Lithuania and Ukraine on the women’s side and men’s pairs from France and Hungary also advanced to the main draw in the Bulgarian capital.
The winners of the previous World Tour women’s event in Sofia last months, USA’s Alexandra Wheeler and Corinne Quiggle, seeded in number one in the qualification bracket, cruised through the qualifications with two straight-set victories, 2-0 (21-10, 21-10) over Iceland’s Thelma Dogg Gretarsdottir and Jona Gudlaug Vigfusdottir and 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) over Canada’s Amanda Harnett and Alina Dormann.
None of the other successful qualifiers in the women’s bracket managed to achieve that, as they all had to come back from a set down and go through a tie-breaker in the second qualification round before progressing to the main draw.
Second-seeded Lithuanians Ieva Dumbauskaite and Gerda Grudzinskaite claimed a 2-1 (16-21, 21-15, 15-12) victory over Switzerland’s Mara Betschart and Melina Hubscher. Third-seeded Americans Sarah Schermerhorn and Aurora Davis defeated Austria’s Franziska Friedl and Eva Pfeffer by 2-1 (14-21, 21-13, 15-12). Ukraine’s Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko, seeded fifth, achieved a 2-1 (14-21, 21-13, 15-12) win over Italy’s Chiara They and Sara Breidenbach, who had themselves battled it out for a 2-1 (24-22, 30-32, 15-6) first-round upset of fourth-seeded Austrians Eva Freiberger and Viktoria Fink in the longest running women's match of the day, 57 minutes.
There were more straight-setters in the men’s qualifications. Two Italian pairs, Samuele Cottafava and Gianluca Dal Corso and Alex Ranghieri and Marco Viscovich, seeded first and second, respectively, hammered out two shutouts each, with only Slovenia’s Danijel Pokersnik and Crtomir Bosnjak managing to push one of them, Ranghieri and Viscovich, to an overtime set before losing by 2-0 (27-25, 21-15).
Hungary’s Artur Hajos and Bence Attila Streli, seeded 13th, delivered clean-slate upsets of fourth-seeded South Africans Jerome Fredericks and Leo Williams, 2-0 (21-18, 21-19), and fifth-seeded Americans Travis Mewhirter and Adam Roberts, 2-0 (22-20, 21-17).
The only two teams who had won their first-round matches in three sets, met each other in the second. France’s Timothee Platre and Liam Patte, seeded 14th, closed the competition day with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) victory over Sweden’s Martin Appelgren and Alexander Herrmann, after achieving a hard-earned 2-1 (16-21, 21-18, 21-19) comeback against third-seeded Austrians Florian Schnetzer and Lorenz Petutschnig in a 65-minute game.
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Sofia
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020