Americans advancing overseas

Americans Advancing in All Manners in Espinho and Edmonton


Americans were advancing all over the world on Friday, one way or the other. Some, like Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, did it via one pounding after the next, beginning with Slovakia, followed up by China and ending with a vengeance match over Greece.

By day’s end, they had beaten those three opponents by 44 total points, limiting a pair of sets to single digits scored against.

So there’s that way, which puts them in the semifinals of the Espinho Four-Star as the final American team, after Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman and Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat both bowed out in the quarterfinals to a pair of Brazilian teams.

There’s the Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger method of advancing, too. They had a much lighter day than Claes and Sponcil. Just one match, over the Czech Republic. Two sets. One win. To the quarterfinals they go.

Then, of course, there’s the path followed Billy Allen and Stafford Slick. After winning pool in Espinho, they had the luxury of a first-round bye, which put them in position to play the winner of Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske and a young Polish team, 19-year-old Mikolaj Miszczuk and 26-year-old Maciej Rudol. It was Poland who advanced – and then it was Allen and Slick who advanced after that. There was a rain delay, which pushed the match back, and then an injury to Poland put Slick and Allen straight into the quarterfinals without playing a match at all.

“Never want it to happen this way,” Slick said, “but we’re off to the quarterfinals tomorrow.”

As are a pair of women’s teams, Emily Day and Betsi Flint and Kelly Reeves and Kim DiCello. The latter beat Austria’s Strauss twins, 21-19, 18-21, 15-13, while the former beat another Austrian team, Eva Freiberger and Valerie Teufl, 21-16, 21-16.