The FIVB World Tour Finals got under way Wednesday in Cagliari, Italy, with some stunning results as Tokyo Olympics gold-medalists April Ross and Alix Klineman lost twice as pool play began.
Jake Gibb, playing his final tournament, and Trevor Crabb split their two matches, while Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil won their only match.
It sets up likely must-wins for the A Team as pool play continues on Thursday in Sardinia when they play Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi of Italy and later Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli of Switzerland.
Gibb and Crabb play Christiaan Varenhorst and Steven Van de Velde of the Netherlands and then Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo. Claes and Sponcil face Sanne Keizer and Madeleine Meppelink of the Netherlands.
Ross and Klineman lost to Russians Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina 22-24, 21-19, 15-10. Then they lost to Germans Julia Side and Karla Borger 22-20, 13-21, 15-8.
Gibb and Crabb swept Latvians Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs 21-19, 21-16. But then they lost to Czechs Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner 21-12, 21-16.
Claes and Sponcil beat Olympics Swiss bronze-medalists Anouk Vérgé-Depre and Joana Heidrich 19-21, 21-14, 15-11.
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