COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – John Hyden and Tri Bourne earned bronze at the Sochi Open for their third medal of the 2016 Olympic qualification period.
Both of the U.S. women’s teams tied for ninth, Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day and Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar.
Hyden and Bourne’s bronze is their third medal of the 2016 Olympic qualification season, having previously won silver at the Xiamen Open just a few weeks ago, and the Qatar Open in April. In their second match against Italy at the tournament, the pair topped five-seeded Alex Ranghieri/Adrian Carambula 21-19, 19-21, 15-9. Hyden and Bourne earned their way to bronze after a setback to Italy’s Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo in the semifinal, the Sochi Open’s eventual winners, falling 21-17, 21-13.
Prior to that point, the American men only dropped a set in the third round and in their pool play loss, a highly contested 2-0 defeat to Austria’s Alexander Huber/Robin Seidl 22-20, 22-20.
For the USA’s third-ranked women’s team in Olympic qualification, Kessy and Day’s ninth-place finish is their fourth consecutive. The pair won their pool, 3-0, but were halted in the second round by Germany’s Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, 24-14, 21-17.
Fopma and Hochevar met a similar fate, being eliminated in the second round by Germany, 21-16, 17-21, 15-8, to Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude. Despite a three set loss to Ukraine, the duo won their pool, 2-1, and the automatic bye into round two by point ratio over Poland.
There are four events remaining in Olympic qualification through rankings. The United States is expected to qualify both of its two teams per gender through the rankings, which closes on June 13. Up next is the Antalya Open, followed by Cincinnati (May 17-22), and the Moscow and Germany Grand Slams.
WEEK IN REVIEW
FIVB Sochi Open
– John Hyden/Tri Bourne won bronze improving their Olympic rankings points by 100, dropping a 17th place finish out of their 12-best performances in the qualification season
– Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day tied for ninth, their fourth-consecutive ninth-place finish; does not improve their provisional Olympic ranking points
– Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar tied for ninth, their third T10 finish in 2016
May 10-15 Antalya Open
May 11-16 U21 World Championships
May 17-22 Cincinnati Open
May 20-22 NVL Port St. Lucie
May 24-29 Moscow Grand Slam
June 2-5 AVP Seattle
June 7-12 Hamburg Grand Slam
June 14-19 Olsztyn Grand Slam
June 16-19 AVP New York City
June 24-26 NVL San Antonio
June 28-July 3 Porec Major