Claes-Sponcil 9th at FIVB Gstaad, good day for Brazilian women, Russian men

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FIVB Gstaad 7/9/2021-Sarah Sponcil
Sarah Sponcil bump sets Kelly Claes in elimination play in Gstaad Friday/FIVB photo

The last two USA teams were eliminated Friday in the four-star FIVB Gstaad pro beach volleyball tournament, the last international competition before the Tokyo Olympics.

Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil finished in a tie for ninth place in the tournament in Switzerland, while Kelley Kolinske and Emily Stockman ended up tied for 17th. The USA men were eliminated Thursday when both Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb and Chaim Schalk and Theo Brunner tied for 17th.

Claes, the former USC star, and Sponcil, the UCLA standout, were on a hot streak coming into Gstaad, having won 12 consecutive matches in the four-star FIVB Sochi and Ostrava events, the latter when they won the tournament and clinched their Olympic spot.

Claes and Sponcil, the only one of the four USA pairs headed to Tokyo that competed, split their pool matches this week. They beat Switzerland’s Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge-Depre (21-13, 21-8) but failed to secure the bye with a tough loss to Brazil’s Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas (21-18, 28-30, 16-14).

Friday, Claes and Sponcil advanced to the second round of elimination with a win over Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Niina Ahtianen (21-13, 21-17). But then they ran into another USC standout in Latvian Olympians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka, who came away with a 21-19, 21-14 victory.

Kolinske and Stockman fell to Brazil’s Ana Patricia Silva and Rebecca Cavalcanti (21-16, 21-13).

Thus far the Brazilian women have dominated, placing three teams in the quarterfinals — second-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa, sixth-seeded Silva and Cavalcanti, and 13th-seeded Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas, who came through the qualifier.

Saturday’s women’s quarterfinals (all times Eastern):
4 a.m. — Kinga Wojtasik and Katarzyna Kociolek (Poland) vs. Kravcenoka and Graudina (Latvia)
5 a.m. — Silva and Cavalcanti (Brazil) vs. Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson (Canada)
9 a.m. — Bednarczuk and Lisboa (Brazil) vs. Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart (Switzerland)
10 a.m. — Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes (Canada) vs. Salgado and Seixas (Brazil)

On the men’s side, the Russians have two teams in the semifinals, guaranteeing them a medal. 2019 World Champions Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy upset top-seeded Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sorum (21-16, 21-19). Their compatriots Nikita Liamin and Taras Myskiv came through the qualifier, defeating Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak (13-21, 21-10, 15-11).

Saturday’s men’s semifinals:
7 a.m. — Krasilnikov and Stoyanovsky (Russia) vs. Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan (Qatar)
8 a.m. — Liamin and Myskiv (Russia) vs. Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot (Netherlands)

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Results courtesy of BVBinfo.com
WOMEN
Winners bracket
Round 1
Talita Antunes/Maria Antonelli Brazil (3) def. Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara Canada (23) 21-16, 21-13 (0:32)
Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho Australia (7) def. Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre Switzerland (29) 24-22, 21-10 (0:39)
Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes Canada (5) def. Chantal Laboureur/Cinja Tillmann Germany (16) 21-18, 21-17 (0:36)
Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina Russia (8) def. Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth Italy (15) 29-27, 21-18 (0:46)
Kinga Wojtasik/Katarzyna Kociolek Poland (25) def. Daniela Alvarez/Angela Lobato Spain (28, Q7) 21-18, 28-30, 15-9 (0:53)
Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes USA (4) def. Riikka Lehtonen/Niina Ahtiainen Finland (27, Q6) 21-13, 21-17 (0:32)
Ana Patricia Silva/Rebecca Cavalcanti Brazil (6) def. Emily Stockman/Kelley Kolinske USA (17) 21-16, 21-13 (0:32)
Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (18) def. Liliana Fernandez/Elsa Baquerizo Spain (14) 23-25, 21-17, 15-11 (0:57)
Round 2
Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa Brazil (2) def. Talita Antunes/Maria Antonelli Brazil (3) 21-19, 21-17 (0:37)
Tanja Huberli/Nina Betschart Switzerland (9) def. Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho Australia (7) 21-15, 21-15 (0:32)
Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes Canada (5) def. Margareta Kozuch/Laura Ludwig Germany (11) 21-14, 22-20 (0:37)
Carolina Salgado/Barbara Seixas Brazil (13, Q1) def. Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina Russia (8) 21-15, 21-14 (0:37)
Kinga Wojtasik/Katarzyna Kociolek Poland (25) def. Karla Borger/Julia Sude Germany (19) 21-18, 21-17 (0:35)
Anastasija Kravcenoka/Tina Graudina Latvia (10) def. Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes USA (4) 21-19, 21-14 (0:34)
Ana Patricia Silva/Rebecca Cavalcanti Brazil (6) def. Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (12) 18-21, 21-19, 15-5 (0:47)
Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (18) def. Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre Switzerland (1) 21-15, 21-15 (0:38)
MEN
Round 2
Anders Mol/Christian Sorum Norway (1) def. Adrian Heidrich/Mirco Gerson Switzerland (20) 19-21, 22-20, 15-11 (0:58)
Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy Russia (9) def. Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins Latvia (12) 21-13, 21-18 (0:39)
Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan Qatar (2) def. Grzegorz Fijalek/Michal Bryl Poland (11) 22-20, 21-19 (0:42)
Evandro Goncalves/Bruno Oscar Schmidt Brazil (3) def. Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller Austria (24, Q1) 21-19, 22-20 (0:44)
Nikita Liamin/Taras Myskiv Russia (29, Q8) def. Mathias Berntsen/Hendrik Mol Norway (30, Q11) 27-29, 21-13, 15-12 (0:54)
Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak Poland (5) def. Marco Krattiger/Florian Breer Switzerland (8) 21-18, 21-17 (0:41)
Nils Ehlers/Lars Fluggen Germany (18) def. Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira Spain (23) 21-17, 21-16 (0:33)
Stefan Boermans/Yorick de Groot Netherlands (15) def. Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler Germany (4) 19-21, 21-13, 15-8 (0:45)
Round 3
Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy Russia (9) def. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum Norway (1) 21-16, 21-19 (0:38)
Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan Qatar (2) def. Evandro Goncalves/Bruno Oscar Schmidt Brazil (3) 16-21, 21-15, 21-19 (0:58)
Nikita Liamin/Taras Myskiv Russia (29, Q8) def. Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak Poland (5) 13-21, 21-10, 15-11 (0:44)
Stefan Boermans/Yorick de Groot Netherlands (15) def. Nils Ehlers/Lars Fluggen Germany (18) 21-19, 21-16 (0:35)

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