TWO AUSSIE TEAMS SUCCESSFUL IN BEACH PRO TOUR TORQUAY CHALLENGE QUALIFIERS
Eight teams per gender emerged victorious from the qualification rounds on Wednesday to complete the Torquay Challenge main draw line-up, including Aussie pairs of Stefanie Fejes and Rebecca Ingram, and Brittany Kendall and Caitlin Bettenay, on the first day of action at the Great Ocean Road Beach Volleyfest.
Thursday’s main draw action will start with the women’s pool matches at 9am as Fejes and Ingram go against Emily Stockman and Megan Kraft of USA on centre court, while Xinyi Xia and MeiMei Lin (CHN) face Keiko Urata and Miharu Kashihara (JPN) on court two and Jagoda Gruszczynska and Aleksandra Wachowicz (POL) take on Marketa Slukova and Helena Havelkova (CZE) on court three.
In today’s women’s qualification round, Fejes and Ingram defeated the Japanese duo of Urata and Miharu in straight sets, while Kendall and Bettenay prevailed in their all-Australian second round match against Brianna Mears and Tara Phillips with the same score, to secure Australia another spot in tomorrow’s pool stage. A total of four Australian teams will play in the women’s main draw, with the qualified pairs from today joining Alisha Stevens/Nicole Laird and Georgia Johnson/Jasmine Fleming.
Qualifiers top seed Marketa Slukova and Helena Havelkova (CZE) also went through the qualification round with a convincing performance against Australians Lucy Knight and Bailee Kendall, defeating them 21-6, 21-6 and confirming that they will be a team to watch in the main draw.
In the men’s qualification round, top seed Pedrosa and Campos of Portugal qualified after beating the Australian pair of Christopher Blake and Jack Gregory in straight sets. It was one of seven men’s Australian teams who could not make it through the second round of the qualification tournament to join the four teams already in the main draw, including Commonwealth Games champions Christopher McHugh and Paul Burnett, who will make their debut in Torquay tomorrow.
The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Torquay Challenge continues on Thursday as part of the Great Ocean Road Beach Volleyfest at Torquay beach. All the matches played on centre court are streamed live exclusively on Kayo Freebies (kayosports.com.au/freebies).
For the full results of the qualification round and the schedule of the pool stage, head over to the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour website.