Taylor Crabb (right) put his family back on the winning side Thursday against Canadians Grant O'Gorman and Ben Saxton as he advanced to Friday's schedule with American partner Jake Gibb.
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 11, 2019 - In what might be a one-of-kind happening here Thursday at the $600,000 Swatch Major Gstaad, one beach volleyball tandem split back-to-back matches against two brothers playing on different teams at the same FIVB World Tour event.
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Canadians Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton were the team playing back-to-back matches against brothers on different teams as 27-year old Taylor Crabb avenged a morning setback for 29-year old Trevor Crabb by posting a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 15-10) afternoon elimination win in 43 minutes with 43-year old Jake Gibb over the 25th-seeded Canadians.
At the start of play Thursday, O’Gorman and Saxton concluded Pool H play with a 2-1 (21-23, 26-24, 15-8) win in 52 minutes over ninth-seeded Tri Bourne Trevor Crabb. Thursday matches were the first FIVB World Tour matches for O’Gorman and Saxton against the Crabb brothers and their current partners.
With the avenging win, the 13th-seeded Taylor Crabb/Gibb combination meet top-seeded and defending Swatch Major Gstaad champions Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway on Friday with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals.
The two teams have met once before on the FIVB World Tour and it happened last season on the Swiss Alps village centre court on July 14 when Mol and Sorum posted a 2-1 (17-21, 23-21, 16-14) semifinal win over Taylor Crabb and Gibb.
Since Taylor Crabb and Gibb’s fourth-place in Gstaad last July for their best World Tour finish together, the Americans have posted three fifths and three ninths in their past six FIVB appearances. Mol and Sorum’s 2018 Gstaad gold was their first together as the Norwegians topped FIVB podiums six more times in 10 World Tour appearances since July 14, 2018.
Men’s play in the 20th annual Swatch Major Gstaad continues through Saturday when the medal matches will be played. The women end play on Sunday as this week’s winning teams will share the $40,000 first-place prizes