Tuesday, 23 April 2024

International Volleyball

Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk qualify for Recife Challenge

Tri Bourne-Chaim Schalk-Tepic Elite 16

Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk celebrate a point at the Tepic Elite 16/Volleyball World photo

RECIFE, Brazil — Amid the delirium and the jubilation on one side of the net and the solemn-faced, thousand-mile stare of dejection on the other, there came a cackle from just off court four at the Recife Challenge in Brazil.

Aleksandrs Samoilovs, who had qualified for the main draw of the Recife Challenge moments prior alongside his brother, Mihails, couldn’t stop laughing. While Chaim Schalk knew exactly what it meant when Tri Bourne hit an ace at 21-20 in the second set against France’s Olivier Barthelemy and Samuel Cattet, Bourne, as he is well-known for at this point, had no idea.

Had no idea he just clinched a 21-15, 22-20 win. No idea he and Schalk just qualified for their first main draw of the season.

Amid all of the emotion, coming all the way back from down 5-9 and 15-18, he simply marched back to the service line, prepared to rip another. Samoilovs loved it.

“He wanted to win by three!” the Latvian blocker said, laughing and shaking his head.

No need for more serves. No need for an additional point. Not on Thursday night, anyway. He and Schalk will need more of those serves this weekend as they enter Pool C, matching up with Austria’s Julian Horl and Alex Horst. They will meet either Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves and Arthur Mariano or Argentina’s Nicolas Capogrosso and Tomas Capogrosso in the second round.

Neither Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner nor Chase Budinger and Miles Evans required such theatrics to be playing into the weekend. Both were seeded directly in the main draw. Brunner and Crabb will play the Samoilovs brothers and meet either Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera or Austria’s Moritz Pristauz and Robin Seidl. Budinger and Evans match up with the Netherlands’ Leon Luini and Christiaan Varenhorst and will play either Ukraine’s Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik or Australia’s Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis in the second round.

And that is, astonishingly, that, for the USA federation.

USA women miss on main draw for first time

For the first time since the advent of the Elite16-Challenge-Futures system in 2022, there is not a single American women’s team in the main draw of a Challenge or Elite16 event. All three teams — Savvy Simo and Toni Rodriguez, Brooke Sweat and Kennedy Coakley, Kim Hildreth and Teegan Van Gunst — fell in Thursday’s qualifier.

Simo and Rodriguez’s upset bid against Brazil’s Hegeile Almeida…

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