The eight men’s teams advancing to Friday’s main-draw pool play are the USA’s Bourne and Crabb, Switzerland’s Florian Breer and Marco Krattiger, Canada’s Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter, Poland’s Maciej Rudol and Jakub Szalankiewicz, the Netherlands’ Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot, Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak, Austria’s Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller, and Sweden’s David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig.
For the women, the USA’s Sponcil and Claes, Brazil’s Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas, Cuba’s Lidiannis Echeverria and Yanisleidis Sanchez, the Netherlands’ Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam and Emi and Maxime van Driel, Switzerland’s Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge-Depre, Germany’s Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider, and France’s Lezana Placette and Alexia Richard made it through two rounds of qualification.
Bourne and Crabb had a longer road than most, beginning with a country-quota win Wednesday over one of the USA’s new teams, Billy Allen and Andy Benesh (21-13, 21-13). Thursday they were tested in both matches, beating Israel’s Sean Faiga and Netanel Ohana (21-14, 18-21, 15-12) and then Brazil’s Arthur Mariano and Pedro Solberg (22-20, 21-18).
Bourne and Crabb served Mariano throughout the match, preying on the 25-year-old’s relative inexperience, having competed in only 16 FIVB tournaments. The strategy paid off, as the Americans never trailed, advancing to the main draw on a missed Mariano cut shot.
Sponcil and Claes were able to breathe a sigh of relief after making Friday’s main draw. Last week they failed to qualify, losing to Brazil’s Victoria Lopes and Taina Silva, unable to add to their Olympic point totals.
Wednesday the Americans began Hub 2 with a country-quota win over Sara Hughes and Emily Day (21-17, 21-17). Thursday they utterly dominated Japan’s Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba in 26 minutes (21-10, 21-9), punching their main draw ticket with an emphatic first-ball sideout by Claes.
Miles Evans and Bill Kolinske took advantage of their first Cancun country-quota opportunity, surviving a tough first set to defeat Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk (35-33, 21-18).
In the qualifier, however, they fell to Poland’s Maciej Rudol and Jakub Szalankiewicz (21-15, 21-19). Evans and Kolinske trailed throughout, failing to execute a number of makable plays, ending when Kolinske missed a short pokey wide.