Claes-Sponcil to play for FIVB Espinho medal, Brunner-Priddy win pool

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Espinho Edmonton July 19-Sarah Sponcil
Sarah Sponcil celebrates as she and partner Kelly Claes reach the semifinals in Espinho/George Davison photo

Seventh-seeded Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil advanced to the FIVB Espinho semifinals on Friday and play top-seeded Brazilians Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Silva in Saturday’s semifinals of the four-star event in Portugal.

Two American pairs, 20th-seeded Reid Priddy and Theo Brunner and 13th-seeded Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, stayed in contention on the men’s side.

There are two FIVB tournaments in progress at the same time, spreading American pairs over two continents.

In Edmonton, Alberta, two USA men’s and two women’s teams won through to the quarterfinals Friday: Second-seeded Billy Allen and Stafford Slick and sixth-seeded Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson won on the men’s side, and second-seeded Emily Day and Betsi Flint and 16th-seeded Kelly Reeves and Kim DiCello on the women’s side.

Claes and Sponcil beat Chen Xue and Xinxin Wang of China (21-9, 21-18) and Vasiliki Arvaniti and Penny Karagkouni of Greece (21-15, 21-18). They play Cavalcanti and Silva 12:15 p.m. local time Saturday.

Cavalcanti and Silva made the semifinals with a win over Americans Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen (25-23, 25-27, 15-10), who previously defeated Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic (17-21, 21-16, 15-10).

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat also lost in the quarterfinals, falling to Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa (21-16, 21-18) after defeating Sandra Ittlinger and Chantal Laboreur of Germany (21-15, 22-20).

Brunner and Priddy beat Maxim Sivolap and Artem Yarzutkin of Russia (19-21, 21-14, 15-6) and Crabb and Gibb (21-17, 21-17). Gibb and Crabb defeated Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena (21-18, 22-20) to advance from their pool, eliminating Dalhausser and Lucena.

Brunner and Priddy face the winner of the match between Marco and Esteban Grimalt of Chile and Andrea Abbiati and Tiziano Andreatta of Italy. Crabb and Gibb play Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho of Brazil.

Espinho Edmonton July 19-Reid Priddy
Reid Priddy runs down a ball in Espinho, Portugal/George Davison photo

Allen and Slick received a second-round forfeit by Maciej Rudol and Mikolaj Miszczuk of Poland after beating William Hoey and Jake MacNeil of Canada (21-19, 21-18) and Surin Jongklang and Adisorn Khaolumtarn of Thailand (21-18, 21-15) to win their pool.

Allen and Slick play Sergiy Popov and Iaroslav Gorieiev of the Ukraine at 10 a.m. Mountain time for a semifinal berth.

Budinger and Patterson beat Jan Dumek and Vaclav Bercik of the Czech Republic (21-19, 21-16) in the round of 16. They won pool F by defeating Sergiy Grabovskyy and Cameron Wheelan of Canada (21-16, 21-11) and Iaroslav Gordieiev and Sergiy Popov of the Ukraine (21-19, 21-17).

Budinger and Patterson face top-seeded Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton of Canada Saturday at noon Mountain.

Ryan Doherty and John Hyden defeated Mathias Berntsen and Hendrik Mol of Norway to win their pool (20-22, 21-17, 15-11), but fell to Alex Ranghieri and Marco Caminati of Italy in the second round of playoffs (21-18, 18-21, 15-13).

Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske defeated Aaron Nusbaum and Michael Plantinga of Canada (21-19, 21-17) to reach the playoffs, but lost to Maciej Rudol and Mikolaj Miszczuk of Poland (21-13, 21-18).

Day and Flint found themselves in the quarterfinals after defeating Eva Freiberger and Valerie Teufl of Austria (21-16, 21-16) in the second round, following a win over Sophie Bukovec and Taylor Pischke of Canada (21-18, 21-12) to win their pool.

Next for Day and Flint is Alexia Richard and Lezana Placette of France at 2 p.m.

Reeves and DiCello dropped their opener Thursday to Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada (21-19, 21-13), but rebounded with wins over Laura Caluori and Dunja Gerson of Switzerland (21-14, 30-28) and twins Teresa and Nadine Strauss of Austria (21-19, 18-21, 15-13).

Reeves and DiCello will play Nicole Laird and Becchara Palmer of Australia at 1 p.m.

Terese Cannon and Irene Pollock defeated Julie Gordon and Shanice Marcelle of Canada (21-17, 18-21, 15-8) to win their pool, but lost to Takemi Nishibori and Ayumi Kusano of Japan (21-16, 15-21, 15-6) to finish ninth.

The USA’s Amanda Dowdy and Corinne Quiggle lost to Placette and Richard of France (21-19, 22-20) and did not get out of the pool.

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