Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, fresh off their victory Sunday in the four-star FIVB Moscow, are the only Americans in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals Hamburg 2018.

The tournament that starts Wednesday in Germany is an invitation-only event with eight automatic qualifiers and two wild cards per gender.

The 10 teams on each side are divided into two pools of five, with the top three teams from each pool advancing to the elimination rounds. Men’s pool play will run Wednesday through Friday, with women’s going from Wednesday through Saturday. The men’s medals will be awarded Saturday and the women’s Sunday.

Teams will compete for the $800,000 combined purse, including a $150,000 first-place prize, thought to be the largest single-event prize in beach volleyball history.

There will be a new winner, since neither 2017 champions Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig of Germany nor Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will participate. Ludwig didn’t play this season after having a baby, while Dalhausser and Lucena were ranked in 11th place, with the top eight earning automatic bids.

FIVB Hamburg-Rothenbaum stadium-beach volleyball
The FIVB World Tour Finals features the largest purse of the year, $800,000 combined/FIVB photo
The eight automatic qualifiers iIn the men’s draw are:
  1. Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway
  2. Alexander Brouwer, Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands
  3. Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland
  4. Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia
  5. Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain
  6. Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs of Latvia
  7. Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy
  8. Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland
The two wild cards are Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler of Germany and Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko of Russia.
The eight auto qualifiers in the women’s draw are:
  1. Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany
  2. Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic
  3. Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa of Brazil
  4. Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado of Brazil
  5. Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson of Canada
  6. Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Canada
  7. Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy of Australia
  8. Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands
The two wild cards are Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider of Germany and Hughes and Ross.
Go to for the men’s schedule and women’s schedule.


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