Pool play begins Thursday at the four-star FIVB Warsaw with a strong contingent of American teams, including fourth-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena on the men’s side and third-seeded April Ross and Alix Klineman on the women’s.
But it was ultimately a tough day for the USA men on Wednesday. It started with the country-quota matches, when Billy Allen and Stafford Slick ousted compatriots Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson 21-15, 13-21, 15-12.
Allen and Slick stayed alive with a 21-19, 24-22 win over Poland’s Martin Chiniewicz and Michal Korycki, but then they were booted from the field in the second round of the qualifier bracket, 21-16, 20-22, 15-11 by Germans Max Betzien.
Two other American men’s pairs also start pool play Thursday, 10th-seeded Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb and 18th-seeded Theo Brunner and Reid Priddy.
Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman got through the country-quota and qualifier rounds and into pool play. They opened with a 21-17, 16-21, 15-11 win over Emily Day and Betsi Flint before moving right into the second round of the qualifier as the No. 11 seed. They beat Russians Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Rudykh 21-17, 21-7.
Two other American women’s pairs are in pool play, ninth-seeded Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, and 12th-seeded Sara Hughes and Summer Ross.