U.S. Women's Teams Sweep Day 3 of U23 Worlds
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 12, 2014) – Nearing the final push for the FIVB Beach Volleyball U23 World Championships in Myslowice, Poland, two USA tandems sit in first place of their respective pools.
Although the local temperature dipped into the 60s on Thursday, that did not hinder the hot streak of Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif.) and Betsi Metter (Phoenix, Ariz.) as the duo booked two wins on Thursday to extend their pool-leading record to 4-0.
Larsen/Metter, the lucky losers from the qualifying tournament, defeated Puerto Rico’s No. 25 pair of Gabriela Roman and Lina Bernier 21-10, 21-10 in their first match on Thursday, before upending No. 12 Bakhtygul Samalikova and Alexandra Varassova of Kazakhstan 21-12, 21-15 to close out the day. Larsen/Metter concludes Pool A play against No. 24 Viktoryia Shalayeuskaya and Siakretava Viktoryia of Belarus on Friday.
Another squad on a hot streak is Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif.). The pair came from behind to take down No. 2 Nicole Laird and Mariafe Artacho of Australia 23-25, 21-18, 15-13, then defeated Latvia’s No. 26 duo of Marta Ozonlina and Ruta Treija 21-19, 21-15. Hughes/Woolever will test their undefeated record against Mexico’s No 35 pair of Gloria Santoyo and Frida Lopez to finish action in Pool B.
Lara Dystra (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) also joined Thursday’s two-win group after knocking off both opponents in straight sets. In the first match, Dystra/Pardon dominated No. 32 Maria Wloch and Natalia Gruszczynska of Poland 21-13, 21-14, which carried over to their 22-20, 21-13 performance against Russia’s No. 20 squad of Ksenia Dyachuk and Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya. The California tandem will face No. 17 Elizaveta Sulima and Dar’ya Udovenko of Ukraine on Friday to cap Pool E play.
The partnership of Alex Jones (Sunnyvale, Calif.) and Kyle Stevenson (Santa Monica, Calif.) spilt two matches on the men’s side in Pool A action. The pair defeated No. 25 Rasko Jovanovic and Sasa Surla of Serbia 21-11, 21-19, but were defeated in the afternoon match against Latvia’s No. 12 tandem of Edvarts Buivids and Pekmanis Reinis 21-15, 21-15. Jones/Stevenson will matchup against No. 24 Greg Simone and Gabriel Burlacu of Canada to finish pool play.