Reaching new heights for Russian Beach Volleyball in Olympic competition are Ekaterina Birlova (pictured) and Evgeniya Ukolova.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 13, 2016 - Two Brazilian pairs posted “Sweet 16” wins along Americans April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings and Russians Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova here Friday and early Saturday morning in the women’s Beach Volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Brazilians winners as expected in the “Sweet 16” on iconic Copacabana were Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca and reigning FIVB world champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas as the two teams eliminated pairs from Germany and China, respectively.
Agatha and Barbara played the first women’s match Friday and scored a 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) elimination win in 38 minutes over Fan Wang and Yuan Yue of China. Next up was Talita and Larissa ousting Karla Borger and Britta Buthe of Germany from the competition with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in another 38-minute match.
Birlova and Ukolova, who advanced to the elimination rounds with “lucky loser” win early Friday morning over a Czech Republic pair, became the first Russian women’s team to advance to an Olympic quarter-final by eliminating Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez of Spain 2-0 (23-21, 24-22) in 47 minutes.
In the last match on the opening day of Olympic elimination, Ross and Walsh Jennings netted a 2-0 (21-10, 21-16) win in 36 minutes over Laura Giombini and Marta Menegatti of Italy. With the match starting at mid-night, the win was the third for the Americans at the start of a new day.
Three pool winners will be trying to validate their preliminary successes in the women’s Beach Volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by posting “Sweet 16” wins Saturday to advance to the quarter-finals.
Led by FIVB World Tour leaders Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of German (Pool D), the three teams will be meeting second-place group finishers Saturday. The lone confrontation between two second-place pool finishers will be a match between Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands and Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland.
Other pool winners in action Saturday will be Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada (Pool E) against compatriots Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas while Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy of Australia (Pool F) are challenged by Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska of Poland. The Aussies posted a seed-break-through win over Meppelink and Van Iersel to win their group.
Saturday, August 13 schedule
12 p.m. - Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Canada (No. 5-seeded) vs. Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada (16)
3 p.m. - Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland (10) vs. Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany (4)
8 p.m. - Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands (6) vs. Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland (17)
11 p.m. - Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska, Poland (12) vs. Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Australia (7)
Friday, August 12 results
• Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas. Brazil def. Fan Wang/Yuan Yue, China (15), 2-0 (21-12, 21-16, 38 minutes)
• Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil (1) def. Karla Borger/Britta Buthe, Germany (8), 2-0 (21-17, 21-19, 38)
• Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova, Russia (24) def. Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, Spain, 2-0 (23-21, 24-22, 47)
• April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, United States (3) def. Laura Giombini/Marta Menegatti, Italy (9), 2-0 (21-10, 21-16, 36).