After a successful first day of competition, the remaining 24 beach volleyball teams made their debut at the London Olympics.
The first round of pool play continued with players from three men’s and women’s pools competing.
Highlighting today’s play was the return of Beijing Olympics gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser to the court – both of whom are not competing at 100 percent due to injuries. Further, at times, Dalhausser seemed to be “out-of-sorts.” But via strings of strong serves and snuffing blocks, he snapped back to typical dominating personna.
This second-seeded tandem, tried to shake off memories from Beijing where they lost their opening pool play match. Competing against a Japanese team, these second seeds warded off this past omen by defeating the pesky pair of Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori in two sets.
The tops seeds, Brazil’s Allison Cerutti and Emmanuel Rego, faced the lowest-seeded Austrians, Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst – who earned a spot by placing second in the recent, last chance FIVB World Cup Olympic Qualifications event. After dropping the first set, the South Americans regained composure and won the remaining two for the match victory.
Similarly, another top pool seed resorted to the third set to seal the deal. The Netherlands Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Shull edged a Venuzuelan duo, who punched its ticket to London by winning the FIVB’s Continental Cup – South America zone.
Other countries posting victories in teh men’s division were Spain, Latvia, and Italy.
Three women’s teams, the top seeds in their pools notched wins today. The FIVB 2009 World Champions, America’s Jen Keesy and April Ross defeated an inexperienced Argentina pair by handily winning the first set. Yet, in the second set, the pair seemed to lose their focus and momentum at times – allowing their opponents to remain within striking distance.
Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes blanked a couple from the Netherlands, while Great Britain also started off strong in besting a Canadian pair – who won their FIVB Continental Zone to qualify for London. Since Brits Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin represent the host nations, they received the automatic first seed in their pool.
Rounding out this second day of competition were victors from Germany, Spain, and Italy – each of which sealed the deal in the tie-breaker set.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for complete coverage of this hottest of all Olympic sports.