Pool Play Begins at FIVB Beach U19 Worlds

By Darci Miller | July 11, 2013, 5:34 p.m. (ET)
 Sara Hughes of the U.S. attacks as she and Kelly Claes faced off against Brazil's Andressa Cavalcanti Ramalho and Paula Moniz Hoffman.

Darci Miller, USA Volleyball Communications Intern, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email: darci.miller@usav.org
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 11, 2013) – Action continued at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships, being held in Porto, Portugal on Thursday, as competition in the main draw began and three U.S. teams took to the sand.

On the boys' side, the team of T.J. DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lucas Yoder (San Clemente, Calif.), seeded No. 9 and playing in Pool H, finished the day with a perfect 2-0 record. They defeated No. 24 Jonathan Panashe Mhandu and Rufaro Douglas Choto of Zimbabwe, 21-8, 21-8, before beating No. 25 Robert Moser and Florian Aberger of Austria, 21-19, 21-10. DeFalco and Yoder currently own first place in Pool H and next take on eighth-seeded Bernardo Martins and Francisco Pombeiro of Portugal (1-1) on Friday.

In the girls’ bracket, No. 7 Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kelly Claes (Valencia, Calif.) defeated Brazil’s No. 26 Andressa Cavalcanti Ramalho and Paula Moniz Hoffman, 21-16, 21-18. Hughes and Claes sit in second place in Pool G. In their next match, on Friday, they face off against No. 23 Roukeya Insa Garanke and Samira Abdou Hamadou of Nigeria (0-1). They will then take on Switzerland’s Nina Betschart and Nicole Eiholzer, seeded No. 10, on Friday to close out pool play.

Skylar Caputo (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Delaney Knudsen (Santa Clarita, Calif.) advanced to the main draw despite dropping one of their qualifying matches. Seeded No. 29, Caputo and Knudsen fell in their first match against No. 4 Sarah Schneider and Lara Schreiber 21-18, 21-18. They then lost their second match to 13th-seeded Anete Brinke and Alise Pastare of Latvia, 18-21, 21-15, 15-13. Currently in third place in Pool E, Caputo and Knudsen (0-2) next take on No. 20 Lisa Casimie and Kerin Neptune of Saint Lucia (0-2) on Friday.

Pool play concludes on Friday and is followed by one day of single-elimination play in which the top three finishers from each pool compete. Semifinal and final matches take place on Sunday.

For more information about the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships, click here.