Highlights of Tuesday’s Opening Action at Poreč Major
The competition was as hot as the glittering quartz sand at the historic opening day of the new Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series in Poreč, Croatia on June 2, 2015.
Spectators basked under perfect, sunny skies as 32 women’s teams sizzled in Qualifying rounds for the Main Draw that will compete for Olympic qualifying points.
The grandstands were buzzing about Brazil’s Carolina Horta, who has been quietly making a name for herself: coming into the Poreč Major, the 22-year-old, who is in her first season of international play, and her partner the veteran Liliane Maestrini were three-for-three in qualifying for FIVB World Tour events this season. Tuesday was no different, with the Horta and Maestrini posting two wins over pairs from South Africa and Venezuela.
Other teams qualifying on Tuesday were Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany and Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas of Canada, who currently rank first and second on the international circuit, as well as Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug of Argentina, Maria Prokopeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva of Russia, Taru Lahti/Riikka Lehtonen of Finland, Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland, and Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan.
In men’s competition Tuesday, teams from Austria, Germany, the United States and Brazil earned the last spots to play in Wednesday’s 32-team Qualifier. The fiercely fought Brazil-against-Brazil matchups, which featured Marcio Araujo, the Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medal winner, had spectators roaring encouragement from the grassy banks of the side courts. After winning their opening match in three hard-fought sets, Araujo and his teammate Saymon Barbosa were eliminated by Vitor Felipe and Alvaro Filho, who advance to the Qualifier along with the day’s other winners, Peter Eglseer/Daniel Mullner of Austria, Armin Dollinger/Clemens Wickler of Germany and Theo Brunner/Nick Lucena of the United States.