| Kaitlin Sather Nielsen of the U.S., left, hits against Russia's Svetlana Popova.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 24, 2013) – Two U.S. beach teams began competition on Wednesday at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Anapa Open, being held in Anapa, Russia from July 23-28.
The men’s duo of Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Avery Drost (Hawthorne, Calif.) earned a place in the main draw after winning its qualification match. Seeded No. 11 in the qualification round, Montgomery and Drost defeated the No. 6 team of Daniel Hupfer and Michael Murauer of Austria, 21-17, 17-21, 16-14. Montgomery and Drost will compete in Pool D of the main draw as the 29th seed.
Men’s pool play takes place on July 25-26. Montgomery and Drost first take to the sand against the fourth-seeded team of Ian Mehamed and Julian Amado Azaad of Argentina on July 25, followed by a match against Germany’s No. 13 Finn Dittelbach and Eric Koreng on the same day.
In the women’s bracket, Heather Hughes (Torrance, Calif.) and Kaitlin Sather Nielsen (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) began pool play with a 1-1 record. Seeded No. 27 and competing in Pool F, Hughes and Nielsen dropped their first match to the No. 6 Russian team of Maria Prokopeva and Svetlana Popova, 19-21, 21-19, 15-13. They bounced back in their second match, defeating No. 11 Hana Skalnikova and Patricia Missottenova of the Czech Republic, 21-17, 21-15.
Currently in second place in Pool F, Hughes and Nielsen conclude pool play on July 25 against 22nd-seeded Karolina Rehackova and Michala Kvapilova of the Czech Republic.
The main draw tournament of each gender is made up of 32 teams. The first phase divides the teams into eight pools of four that compete in round robin play for two days. The top three finishers in each pool (24 teams total) advance to the second phase, which is single elimination format. Phase two begins in the women’s bracket on July 26 and in the men’s bracket on July 27. Women’s semifinals and finals will take place on July 27, while men’s play wraps up with semifinals and finals on July 28.
For more information on the Anapa Open, click here.