COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (July 11, 2012) – U.S. beach volleyball teams went 2-1 on the first day of play at the 11th annual FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth (Under-19) World Championships on Wednesday in Larnaka, Cyprus.
The U.S. is represented in the girls’ division by Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, Calif.) and Bennett Bird (San Diego, Calif.) and Riley Mallon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) on the boys’ side.
The eighth-seeded Hughes and Wong-Orantes opened play with a win against Nene Amie Kante and Aissatou Perpetue Kamano from Guinea, 21-5, 21-5 in 24 minutes.
The U.S. girls’ duo will be back in action on Thursday against No. 24-seeded Roukeya Insa Garanke and Samira Abdou Hamadou of Nigeria before taking on Australia’s No. 9-seeded Rebecca Reeve and Jessyka Ngauamo.
No. 9-seeded Mallon and Bird were defeated in their first match by No. 24-seeded Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak of Poland, 21-15, 21-12 in 26 minutes.
In its second match of the day, the U.S. men’s team defeated Canada’s No. 25-seeded William Hoey and Liam Kopp, 20-22, 21-13, 17-15 after 53 minutes of play.
Mallon and Bird will play Austria’s No. 8-seeded Martin Ermacora and Lukas Peter Stranger on Thursday.
The event has brought in 80 teams, including 40 men’s and 40 women’s, to compete for the title in Cyprus’ third largest city. Thirty-six countries are represented at the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championships.
The format for the event has placed 32 teams in each gender in the main draw. Six pools with four teams in each will compete in pool play before the top three teams from each pool will advance to single-elimination play on Friday. Following those matches, the championship matches will be played on Saturday.
For more information about the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth (Under-19) World Championships, visit the FIVB web site.