Only one American team will advance past the quarterfinals of the FIVB Gstaad Five Star.
Team USA fans started Friday with five teams to cheer for, but both remaining men’s teams lost the second round, while one American women’s team ended its Gstaad run in the first round.
If you’re doing the math, that still leaves two USA women’s squads in the fight, but those two remaining teams—April Ross/Alix Klineman and Kerri Walsh Jennings/Brooke Sweat—will face each other in Saturday’s quarterfinals, meaning exactly one USA pair will appear in the Gstaad semis.
Let’s back up.
First to Friday’s victors. Ross and Klineman started the day off a little rocky, dropping the opening set of their first round match to No. 22-seeded Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova of Russia, but coming back to win in three (15-21, 21-13, 15-9).
In their second match of the day versus the No. 4 seed Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of Czech Republic, the American pair needed extra points in the first but went on a tear in the second, preventing their opponents from even reaching double digits for a final scoreline of 26-24, 21-9.
Walsh Jennings and Sweat faced their toughest challenge yet in Gstaad, taking on a veteran Brazilian squad in No. 25-seeded Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima in the second round after earning a bye in the first, but the Americans didn’t flinch, winning 21-16, 21-19 to set up the quarterfinal bout with Klineman/Ross.
These two teams have played each other just once before, at the 2019 Ostrava Four Star in May. Klineman and Ross won that meeting in three sets (18-21, 21-16, 17-15).
Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman finished in 17th after a loss to the No. 12 seed Svetlana Kholomina and Nadezda Makroguzova of Russia 21-15, 21-18.
The women’s quarterfinal matchups:
Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (1) vs. Natalia Dubovcova/Andrea Strbova Slovakia (18)
Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings United States (7) vs. Alix Klineman/April Ross United States (3)
Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado Brazil (15, Q2) vs. Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (9)
Ana Patricia Silva/Rebecca Cavalcanti Brazil (5) vs. Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan Canada (2)
On the men’s side, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena faced Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in the second round after earning a bye in the first, and the Dutch team secured the win 21-16, 21-14. These two pairs met just last week in World Championships pool play, with the Dutch team winning that match as well. In fact, Dalhausser and Lucena have not beaten Brouwer and Meeuwsen since the Fort Lauderdale Major in March of 2018.
Gibb and Crabb met their match in the second round, falling to No. 1 seed, reigning Gstaad champions, recently crowned World Championships bronze medalists, and the current top-ranked team in the world, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway in three 15-21, 21-11, 15-8.
The men’s semifinal matchups:
Anders Mol/Christian Sorum Norway (1) vs. Evandro Goncalves/Bruno Oscar Schmidt Brazil (6)
Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen Netherlands (21) vs. Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai Italy (12)
Click here for BVBinfo.com’s full men’s report, including results and schedule, and here for the women’s results and schedule.