Maria Antonelli (center) hits at the Huntington Beach Open net Friday against Germany's Julie Sude (left) while Brazilian partner Carolina Salgado.
Huntington Beach, USA, May 4, 2018 - American, Brazilian and Canadian women’s teams are the first pairs to advance to the quarterfinals of this week’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event after posting two victories each here Friday at the $300,000 Huntington Beach Open.
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Americans Sara Hughes/Summer Ross paced the host country effort on Friday and are joined in the quarterfinals of the winners' bracket by Brazilians Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas and Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado, and Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan.
With the Huntington Beach Open featuring double-elimination play, the ninth-seeded Hughes/Ross will play fifth-seeded Fernanda/Barbara while sixth-seeded Antonelli/Carolina will challenge second-seeded Humana-Paredes/Pavan in matches to be played on Saturday morning on the courts just north of the Huntington Beach Pier.
Hughes and Ross posted a pair of wins on Friday over American rivals starting with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win in 34 minutes over 25th-seeded Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman followed by a 2-0 (21-13, 22-20) victory in 33 minutes over top-seeded Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat.
Fernanda and Barbara, who are seeking their second gold medal on American sand this season after topping the podium at February’s Fort Lauderdale Major in south Florida, posted wins over 12th-seeded Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider of Germany 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) in 40 minutes and 13th-seeded Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson of Canada 2-0 (21-19, 29-27) in 52 minutes.
Antonelli and Carolina opened play Friday with a 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-13) win in 50 minutes over 11th-seeded Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland before upsetting third-seeded Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) in 36 minutes.
Humana-Paredes and Pavan, FIVB World Tour gold medal winners in China last month, scored a 2-0 (22-20, 28-26) victory in 46 minutes over 18th-seeded Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova of Russia to start play on Friday and ended the day with a 2-1 (27-29, 21-19, 15-12) centre court win in 62 minutes over seventh-seeded Alix Klineman/April Ross of the United States.
A total of 12 women’s team remain in the Huntington Beach Open competition as the inaugural event continues through the weekend where the semifinals and medal matches will be played Sunday with the winning teams netting the $20,000 first-place prizes. The second of two FIVB World Tour events in the United States this season, the Huntington Beach Open is a partnership between the FIVB and the United States’ premier beach volleyball tour - the AVP.