Stam hits against Carol’s block

Three women’s teams booked their spots in Saturday’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite16 quarterfinals. Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands, Nina Brunner and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland and Talita Antunes and Rebecca Silva of Brazil each gained two victories in Thursday’s pool play, enough to secure early advancement.

· All the matches of the Ostrava Elite16 are available to watch live or on demand on Volleyball TV.

Top-seeded Stam and Schoon were impeccable on the first day of main draw action. They started their Pool A campaign with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-9) shutout of Brazil’s Andressa Cavalcanti and Vitoria Rodrigues. An intriguing clash between the number one and number two teams in the FIVB World Ranking followed. The Dutch pair proved superior on the way to a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) victory over Barbara Seixas and Carol Solberg, also of Brazil, and managed to book a spot among the top two in the pool standings, regardless of the third-leg results on Friday. Both Brazilian teams achieved hard-earned three-set wins over Poland’s Kinga Wojtasik and Katarzyna Kociolek and will lock horns with each other for the second place.

“We’ve played Vitoria and Andressa a few times and we know them better. We played Barbara and Carol once, in the Tlaxcala final, and we lost. The second time now we beat them, so it feels amazing!” said Raisa Schoon. “Now we have to prepare for the game against Poland tomorrow and after that we will start thinking about the quarterfinals.”

Stam & Schoon v Barbara & Carol: Match Highlights

Brunner and Huberli and fourth-seeded Talita and Rebecca managed two Pool D victories on Thursday and set up a direct clash for the first place on Friday. Regardless of that result, both duos will progress to the quarterfinals. The Swiss team mastered a 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) shutout of Brazil’s Taiana Lima and Hegeile Almeida and followed that up with another clean slate, 2-0 (21-11, 23-21) over Czechia’s Barbora Hermannova and Marie-Sara Stochlova. Talita and Rebecca started with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) win over the home team, but then their compatriots made them work hard for a 2-1 (12-21, 21-17, 15-10) comeback.

Only one leg of matches was held in the remaining women’s pools. In a remake of last year’s Olympic semifinal, second-seeded Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina of Latvia got back at Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho Del Solar with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) win. In the other Pool B game, Brazil’s Eduarda (Duda) Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Ramos claimed a 2-0 (21-18, 21-10) victory over USA’s Terese Cannon and Sarah Sponcil.

Two three-setters marked the first day in Pool C. German qualifiers Cinja Tillmann and Svenja Muller achieved a sensational 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 15-13) upset of reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, while third-seeded Americans Kelley Kolinske and Sara Hughes outplayed Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland by 2-1 (21-19, 20-22, 15-12).

Pavan & Melissa v Muller & Tillmann: Match Highlights

The remaining pool matches will be played on Friday and the entire line-up for Saturday’s quarterfinals will become known. Action resumes at 09:30 local time.