April Ross and Alix Klineman kept on winning Thursday in the first FIVB event of 2018, the four-star Dela Beach Open in The Hague.
Ross and Klineman, the 13th seeds, made short work of 20th-seeded Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte of Lithuania 21-15, 24-22 to open modified pool play at the indoors competition in the Netherlands. Americans Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes and Summer Ross and Brooke Sweat also won Thursday.
The top eight seeds on both the men’s and women’s side advanced Thursday. Seven of the eight men’s seeds advanced in straight sets, with seventh-seeded Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland going the distance with Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner of the Czech Republic 13-21, 21-15, 17-15.
Two American men’s teams won Thursday. Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick defeated Kacper Kujawiak and Maciej Rudol of Poland 21-18, 21-17, while Billy Allen and Ryan Doherty defeated Americans Miles Evans and Bill Kolinske 17-21, 21-19, 15-10.
Patterson and Slick play next against Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia, while Allen and Doherty will face Pedro Solberg and George Wanderley of Brazil. The winners get byes in the single elimination playoffs. Kolinske and Evans will face Dirk Boehle and Steven van de Velde of the Netherlands with the loser eliminated.
Earlier in the tournament, Americans Trevor Crabb and Sean Rosenthal were knocked out before the main draw by Russians Vasilii Ivanos and Ilya Leshukov.
In women’s pool play, six of eight top seeds advanced without the loss of a set, with second-seeded Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova of the Czech Republic needing three sets to defeat Laura Bloem and Jolien Sinnema of the Netherlands (17-21, 21-17, 15-10), and eighth-seeded Joy Stubbe and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands defeating Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia (19-21, 21-14, 21-19).
Three of the four American teams won their initial pool matches. Claes and Hughes defeated Azusa Futami and Akiko Hasegawa of Japan 21-15, 21-19. Ross and Sweat needed only 29 minutes to beat Angela Lobato and Amaranta Navarro of Spain 21-16, 21-9.
Lauren Fendrick and Karissa Cook lost their only pool match Thursday to Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami of Japan, 12-21, 21-19, 15-11.
Ross and Klineman play fourth-seeded Brazilians Eduarda Lisboa and Agatha Bednarczuk on Friday. Fendrick and Cook face Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands, Claes and Hughes face Joy Stubbe and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands and Sweat and Summer Ross take on Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves of Brazil.