The winners of the first Elite16 event of the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season, Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam are on pace to also contend for the title of this week’s Tepic Elite16 after the Dutch Olympians completed their pool play campaign undefeated on Friday and advanced directly to the quarterfinals of the event held in Mexico.
Flawless Schoon and Stam on to the quarterfinals in Tepic
The Dutch will be in Saturday’s elimination rounds in Mexico – watch on VBTV
Pubblicato 06:41, 24 Mar 2023
Only eight women’s teams remain in contention on Saturday, when the quarterfinals, which will begin at 13:00 local time (20:00 UTC), and the semifinals, scheduled to start at 18:00 local time (01:00 UTC, Sunday), will be held at the Amado Nervo Auditorium.
Schoon, 21, and Stam, 24, completed their Pool B schedule on Friday with their third-straight two-set triumph in Tepic. The Europeans, who had overcome duos from Canada and Latvia on Thursday, maintained their good rhythm on the second day of the main draw, tallying a 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) win over Italians Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi.
“We had a really tough pool, but we kept on going and playing our own game,” Stam reflected. “I feel that we had strong game plans for each match and it worked in all of them. I’m very happy that we managed to finish in first place and to go directly to the quarterfinals. We’ll have some time to recover and prepare and will be totally fresh tomorrow.”
The winners of the season-opening Doha Elite16, in February, Schoon and Stam have won 13 of the 15 matches they played in 2023 so far and hope to extend their current ten-match winning streak on Saturday. Their quarterfinal opponents will be Brazil's Eduarda 'Duda' Lisboa and Ana Patrícia Ramos, the only team to stand above them in the FIVB World Rankings, who topped Americans Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss 2-1 (24-22, 22-24, 15-10) in the Round of 12.
“Every team that makes it to the quarterfinals in an Elite16 event is a good one,” Schoon analysed. “The sand is really soft here and we’ve adjusted well. We’ll only try to continue with what has been working.”
Pool A had a big turnaround on Friday, with Brazilians Bárbara Seixas and Carol Salgado, who had won their first two matches on Thursday, falling to Canadians Brandie Wilkerson and Melissa Humana-Paredes in straight sets (21-15, 21-17). The result propelled the North Americans to the top spot in the pool and sent them directly to the quarterfinals, where they will face Menegatti and Gottardi, who eliminated
The result propelled the Canadians to the top spot in the pool and advanced them directly to the quarterfinals, where they will face Menegatti and Gottardi, who eliminated Americans Terese Cannon and Sarah Sponcil in two sets (21-16, 21-16) in the Round of 12.
Pool C winners were Germans Cinja Tillmann and Svenja Müller, the bronze medallists of last year's FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship. The two entered the second day of the man draw in Tepic undefeated and ended it in the same way after they prevailed over France's Alexia Richard/Lézana Placette in two sets (21-16, 21-11).
Tokyo Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho of Australia will be the next team to challenge the Germans in Tepic. The two overcame Canadians Sarah Pavan and Sophie Bukovec in their two-set (21-13, 21-12) Round of 12 encounter.
Americans Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes are the fourth pool winners in Tepic. The two, who had a perfect record on Thursday, completed their pool calendar with a strong 2-0 (21-11, 21-16) victory over the home team of Abril Flores and Atenas Gutierrez in Pool D. Cheng and Hughes will now play Bárbara and Carol, who bounced back with a three-set (21-9, 18-21, 16-14) triumph over Placette and Richard in the Round of 12.