A1 Major Vienna: Rain plays a factor but strong day for USA women

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Emily Stockman goes all out but is a bit late Thursday as Kelley Larsen looks on at FIVB Vienna/FIVB photo

The rain became a major player Thursday at the FIVB’s A1 Major Vienna, but not before some great results for American women, which created a good-news, bad-news situation for the USA.

Three American pairs won their first-round winners-brackets matches, sixth-seeded April Ross and Alix Klineman, 14th-seeded Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, and 17th-seeded Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman.

But it sets up Friday matches featuring April Ross and Klineman playing 28th-seeded compatriots Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil and Larsen and Stockman taking on 13th-seeded Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar. Hughes and Summer Ross will play Italians Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth, who won the FIVB event in Agadir, Morocco, last Sunday.

Things were muddled on the men’s side, where two hours of rain forced postponement of eight matches, which affects the women’s schedule the rest of the way, too.

The women will play two rounds of eliminations on Friday to set up Saturday’s semifinals and medal matches.

The men had to finish pool play on Friday and then play their first round of elimination with an eye on finishing up Sunday.

First place is worth $40,000 to both gold-medal winning teams.

American men had mixed results Thursday.

Most surprising was top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, who struggled to beat 32nd-seeded Simon Fruhbauer and Jorg Wutzi of Austria 24-22, 21-16, before getting knocked off by 17th-seeded Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs of Latvia 21-16, 21-18 in a match that was delayed for more than an hour and a half.

Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb are into the second round of winners-bracket play after winning twice. They beat Switzerland’s Mirco Gerson and Adrian Heidrich 21-13, 15-21, 15-13 and then Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera 27-29, 21-18, 15-11, in a match that, including the rain delay, took 2 hours, 50 minutes.

Americans John Hyden and Theo Brunner, coming off their AVP Hermosa Beach Open victory, are out after going 0-2 Thursday.

BVBinfo.com has the men’s results.

Back to the women, where Hughes and Ross beat Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova of the Czech Republic 21-19, 21-13. Larsen and Stockman beat Switzerland’s Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli 18-21, 21-13, 15-12, and Klineman and Ross took out Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia 19-21, 21-16, 15-13.

BVBinfo.com has the women’s results and the women’s winners bracket.

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