With the qualifier completed, the stage is set for the penultimate Olympic beach volleyball qualifier, a four-star tournament in Sochi, Russia, and Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat got through into pool play.
Seven other women’s teams advanced to pool play, including Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam (Netherlands), Angela Lobato and Amaranta Navarro (Spain), Ieva Dumbauskaite and Gerda Grudzinskaite (Lithuania), Megan and Nicole McNamara (Canada), Ekaterina Birlova and Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya (Russia), and Anita Dave and Sofia Starikov (Israel).
The eight men’s qualifiers are Nikita Liamin and Taras Myskiv (Russia), Mathias Berntsen and Hendrik Mol (Norway), Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller (Austria), Florian Breer and Marco Krattiger (Switzerland), Anton Kislytsyn and Daniil Kuvichka (Russia), Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso (Argentina), Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot (Netherlands), and Gustavo Carvalhaes and Arthur da Silva (Brazil).
Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat got through with by beating Poland’s Agata Ceynowa and Marta Lodej (21-12, 21-13).
The USA Thursday pool schedule:
Women (all times Eastern)
2 a.m. — Walsh Jennings and Sweat vs. Switzerland’s Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli
2 a.m. — Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil vs. Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth
3:40 a.m. — Kelley Kolinske and Emily Stockman vs. Germany’s Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider
3:40 a.m. — Alix Klineman and April Ross vs. Spain’s Angela Lobato and Amaranta Navarro
7 a.m. — Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena vs. Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins
7 a.m. — Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb vs. Austria’s Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller
7:50 a.m. — Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb vs. Germany’s Nils Ehlers and Lars Fluggen
For more on the Olympic implications, Tom Feuer wrote this article breaking it all down last week.
Wednesday country-quota play, Corinne Quiggle and Allie Wheeler beat Aurora Davis and Sarah Schermerhorn (21-14, 21-16), but were subsequently defeated by Walsh Jennings and Sweat (21-17, 22-20).
VolleyballMag.com contributor Travis Mewhirter and Adam Roberts upset Chaim Schalk and Theo Brunner in the country quota Tuesday (19-21, 21-17, 21-18), but fell to Argentina’s Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso in Wednesday’s qualifier (21-17, 19-21, 15-9).