Dubai, UAE - 2nd - challenge - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News

Alex Ranghieri in Dubai

Alex Ranghieri is ready for his third back-to-back tournament with younger partner Marco Viscovich

Thursday’s two rounds of qualification matches at the second of two back-to-back Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge events in Dubai filled the eight remaining main draw vacancies in each gender. 24 women’s and 24 men’s teams will be in contention as main draw action at Kite Beach gets underway on Friday morning at 08:00 local time (04:00 UTC).

The participating teams in each gender are divided into six pools of four. A modified pool play format (semifinals, third-place match and final within each pool) will be applied and the top three pairs in each pool will progress to the direct elimination playoffs.

· Watch all matches at the Beach Pro Tour Challenge events in Dubai live on Volleyball TV.

Australia’s Zachery Schubert and Thomas Hodges, Brazil’s Evandro Oliveira and Vinicius Freitas, Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Leo Dillier, Spain’s Javier Huerta and Alejandro Huerta, Germany’s Paul Henning and Sven Winter, and three American duos – Andrew Benesh and Miles Partain, Logan Webber and Evan Cory, and Taylor Crabb and Paul Lotman – won two matches each in Thursday’s qualifiers, so the men’s main draw line-up now features duos from 14 different nations.


Paul Lotman in action during th Dubai 2 qualifications

Italy is the country represented by the highest number of teams. 35-year-old Olympian Alex Ranghieri and 21-year-old Marco Viscovich, who recently reunited as a pair, are the highest seeded of four Italian men’s duos to compete in the main draw as of Friday. As the number two seeds, they will lead Pool B, which also features Argentina’s Tomas Capogrosso and Nicolas Capogrosso, Türkiye’s Hasan Huseyin Mermer and Safa Urlu and qualifiers Huerta and Huerta.

“Alex is a great player with a lot of experience, which he is sharing with me and helping me grow day by day,” Viscovich told Volleyball World. “I also have my parents follow me in every competition around the world and it’s so important to me just knowing they are by my side. Seeing their proud faces as they watch me play is a unique feeling that pushes me forward.”

“He said ‘experienced’, but I say I’m just getting old,” Ranghieri joked in reply. “We’ve been having fun, that’s for sure. We had almost two weeks of practice before these events and we are finding our way through every single match. I can see this guy growing and we’re growing as a team. He is absolutely amazing!”

Sweden’s David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig, France’s Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat, Dubai 1 Challenge winners Benesh and Partain of USA, Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Arthur Mariano, and UAE’s Amer Almarzooqi and Abduljalil Albooshi, in that order, are the other five highest seeded teams in the men’s main draw and will lead the other five pool brackets.

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The eight teams that qualified on the women’s side included American duos Katie Horton and Julia Scoles, and Xolani Hodel and Hailey Harward, Germany’s Leonie Kortzinger and Lea Sophie Kunst, Czechia’s Miroslava Dunarova and Daniela Resova, Japan’s Asami Shiba and Takemi Nishibori, Megumi Murakami and Sakurako Fujii also of Japan, Israel’s Anita Dave and Yahli Ashush, and Lithuania’s Ieva Vasiliauskaite and Jekaterina Kovalskaja, so a total of 12 different countries will be represented in the women’s main draw.

Top-seeded Germans Isabel Schneider and Julia Sude lead the main draw on entry points. They will start their campaign in Pool A with a match against qualifiers Vasiliauskaite and Kovalskaja, opening the centre court for business in the morning. The other two teams in the pool are Yuan Lvwen and Dong Jie of China and qualifiers Hodel and Harward.

The other five women’s pools are headlined by the next five seeded teams: China’s Xia Xinyi and Lin MeiMei, Thailand’s Taravadee Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee, Japan’s Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi, China’s Zeng Jinjin and Wang Xinxin, and previous Dubai event winners Horton and Scoles.