The Hague, The Netherlands, June 29, 2015 - Tri Bourne and John Hyden of the United States became the second pool winner in the center of the Beach Volleyball universe here Monday to advance to the elimination rounds undefeated with a guaranteed first-round match on the sand at The Hofvijver stadium court in the 2015 FIVB “senior” World Championships.
With men’s and women’s groups A, H and I playing their preliminary matches at The Hofvijver stadium court, the ninth-seeded Bourne and Hyden scored a 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) win in 37 minutes over 16th-seeded Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland in a confrontation of unbeatens to determine the top spot in Pool I. It was the third pool play meeting on the FIVB World Tour between the two teams with the Americans winning all three.
The pool title was the first this season for Bourne and Hyden in five events as the Americans, who placed 17th in the previous two FIVB World Tour events in Norway and the United States, had a 5-7 group record entering the world championships. Hyden is the oldest player in the tournament at 42 as he and Bourne captured an international title last season at the German Grand Slam in Berlin.
On Sunday, top-seeded Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands scored a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) win in 36 minutes over 24th-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Taylor Pischke of Canada to clinch the women’s Pool A top spot. It was the Dutch’s second group victory as the first came on opening night over 25th-seeded Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan.
With their top-spot in the opening round of elimination secured due to the tie-breaking advantages over the teams from Canada and Kazakhstan in the group, Meppelink and Van Iersel finished Pool A with a 3-0 record after the 48th-seeded Orellana sisters (Maria A. and Maria J.) of Guatemala forfeited their match to the Dutch due to injury.
Humana-Paredes and Pischke rebounded from their Sunday setback to defeat Mashkova and Tsimbalova 2-1 (22-24, 24-22, 15-12) in 58 minutes. The Kazakhstan pair must now wait until Tuesday afternoon to learn their fate for the knockout portion of the competition as only eight of the 12 third-place finishers in pool play advance to the elimination rounds.
The men’s Pool A picture became clearer Monday as 48th-seeded Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez of Cuba won their second match by defeating a team from El Salvador to advance to a group-deciding match Tuesday evening against top-seeded Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst of The Netherlands.
The Cubans scored a 2-0 (21-11, 22-20) victory in 38 minutes over 25th-seeded Carlos Escobar and David Vargas of El Salvador in the third of nine matches Monday played on the sand at The Hofvijver stadium court in front of The Netherlands' center of government. Diaz and Gonzalez posted a three-set win Saturday over 24th-seeded Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland.
With women’s Pool H having a day off before group-deciding matches Tuesday, their male counterparts were playing their second of three preliminary matches Monday where eighth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik of Germany defeated 32nd-seeded Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson of France 2-1 (24-26, 21-15, 16-14) in 69 minutes and 17th-seeded Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk of Canada posted a 2-0 (21-10, 21-12) victory in 29 minutes over 41st-seeded Grant Goldschmidt/Leo Williams of South Africa.
Women’s Pool I winners Monday were ninth-seeded Fernanda Alves/Taiana Lima of Brazil and 16th-seeded Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland. With Fernanda celebrating her 30th birthday, Brazilians won their second match in the group 2-0 (21-19, 27-25) in 49 minutes over 33rd-seeded Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre in a meeting of unbeatens. Heidrich and Zumkehr, who lost to compatriots Forrer and Verge-Depre Sunday, rebounded with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-8) win in 31 minutes over 40th-seeded Randy Williams/Palesa Sekonyana of South Africa.
In a match to determine third-place in men’s Pool I, 40th-seeded Tim Oude Elferink and Daan Spijkers of The Netherlands posted a 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-13) in 55 minutes over 33rd-seeded Erick Haddock/Roberto Rodriguez-Bertran of Puerto Rico. The Dutch now must wait until the end of pool play Tuesday to see if they rank as one of the eight-best third-place finishers to earn a berth in elimination rounds.
The top two teams in women’s Pool H are undefeated as eighth-seeded Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain meets 17th-seeded Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia Tuesday for the group title and a spot in The Hague for the first round of elimination Wednesday.
The Spaniards have won five of the previous six FIVB World Tour meetings with Bawden and Clancy with Tuesday’s match the first match between the two teams this season. The first two matches in the series were in 2013 when Baquerizo and Liliana defeated the Aussies in The Hague Grand Slam and at the 2013 FIVB World Championships in Poland.
Pool play for the 48 teams in each gender’s competition concludes Tuesday (June 30) with the elimination rounds beginning Wednesday leading to the medal matches July 4 for women and July 5 for men. In addition to playing for the $60,000 first-place prize money, the 2015 FIVB World Championships will also reward the country with the gold medal team a berth in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.