Women’s favourites on course in beach volleyball

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - While the men’s beach volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been turned upside down with the first-, fourth- and sixth-seeded pairs absorbing setbacks in pool play, the women's side of the schedule has been clean of surprises with all six top-ranked tandems each winning their first two group matches.

With top seeds Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas of Brazil (Pool B), April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States (Pool C) and Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands (Pool F) “taking care of business” Monday, the other top-ranked pairs of Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil (Pool A), Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany (Pool D) and Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan of Canada (Pool E) followed the script here Tuesday.

While Talita/Larissa are tied atop their pools and will be challenged Thursday for their group’s leadership by a team from Poland, Ludwig/Walkenhorst is in control in Pool D and Bansley/Pavan in charge of Pool E.  As the only unbeaten teams in their group, the Germans dispatched previously undefeated Canadians Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) in 34 minutes Tuesday before the Canadians defeated Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) in 49 minutes in the “midnight madness” match.

Talita and Larissa won their second Pool A match Tuesday with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) win in 39 minutes over Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat of the United States to tie Poland’s Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska atop the group.  The Polish pair won their second pool match by defeating Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova of Russia 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) in 39 minutes.

Women’s Pools B, C and F will be decided Wednesday with only Ross and Walsh Jennings alone atop their group.  The Americans close out Pool C action against Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland.  In Pool B, the battle of unbeatens feature Agatha/Barbara against Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain.  The 2-0 teams in Pool F competing for the group title are Meppelink/Van Iersel and Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia.


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