John Hyden and Tri Bourne’s goal this year was to earn an Olympic berth. Despite finishing 16th in the Olympic rankings, they were edged out by Casey Patterson/Jake Gibb and the country quota rule, and were forced to watch the Olympics from home, labeled as the best team not to make the Olympics.
The silver lining is that by competing hard in as many events as possible, Hyden/Bourne earned enough points to qualify for the Swatch SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals Wednesday in Toronto as the 12th seed.
“Yeah, we did enough to get here by playing all those opens,” Hyden said after a season of competing in 16 FIVB tournament plus two on the AVP. “It’s kind of a nice reward for players that go to all the events. We’re really stoked about that, getting here.”
Even better than that, Hyden/Bourne took down the No. 5 seed and world champions Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg of Brazil 19-21, 21-19, 15-12. If they can beat Canadians Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk Thursday, they will earn a bye into the single-elimination playoffs, guaranteeing them fifth.
Meanwhile, fellow Americans Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena won their opener over Canadians Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter 16-21, 21-16, 15-9.
Kerri Walsh-Jennings/April Ross did not play Wednesday and will complete both of their pool-play matches Thursday.
Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt (Brazil), Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins (Latvia), Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre (Switzerland), Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr (Switzerland), and Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson (Canada) also won Wednesday.
Men’s Pool A: No. 1 Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt (Brazil) defeated No. 9 Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri (Italy) 21-18, 21-15.
Men’s Pool B: No. 2 Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins (Latvia) defeated No. 10 Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel (Poland) 21-17, 22-24, 15-9.
Men’s Pool C: No. 3 Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (USA) defeated No. 11 Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter (Canada) 16-21, 21-16, 15-9.
Men’s Pool D: No. 12 Tri Bourne/John Hyden (USA) defeated No. 5 Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg (Brazil) 19-21, 21-19, 15-12.
Women’s Pool A: No. 8 Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre (Switzerland) defeated No. 9 Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy (Australia) 21-17, 21-13.
Women’s Pool B: No. 7 Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr (Switzerland) defeated No. 10 Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug (Argentina) 21-15, 21-11.
Women’s Pool C: No. 4 Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson (Canada) defeated No. 12 Laura Giombini/Marta Menegatti (Italy) 21-14, 21-12.