ROSARITO, Mexico (March 25, 2022) – Three U.S. Beach National Team pairs – Emily Day/April Ross, Kelly (Claes) Cheng/Betsi Flint and Kelley Kolinske/Sarah Hughes – have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Beach Pro Tour’s Rosarito Elite 16.
The U.S. is the only country with three teams remaining in the women’s draw. Brazil has two, and Canada, Netherlands and Latvia each have one. Cheng/Flint begin the quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Saturday, March 26, while Day/April and Kolinske/Hughes each play at 12:30 p.m.
Day/April advanced by winning pool B, a group that consisted of two other U.S. squads. In their first match Friday, the pair downed Kolinske/Hughes in two sets. In the nightcap, they beat Sarah Sponcil/Terese Cannon to clinch the pool title.
“We didn’t know what to expect as a new team and the tough competition, plus being in a pool with two other great American teams,” Ross said. “We’re really happy and grateful to come out of pool on top.”
“Being able to top our pool is awesome, especially in a top tournament like this,” Day said. “We look forward to getting back out there tomorrow and continue getting better.”
Cheng/Flint entered Friday with a chance at a pool title, going into a match with Brazil’s Talita Da Rocha Antunes/Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva with a 2-0 record. It was the South American squad who left undefeated, however, and Cheng/Flint took second in pool C.
Kolinske/Hughes advanced as the No. 2 seed out of pool B with a 2-1 record. The pair rebounded from the morning defeat to sweep Switzerland’s Nina Brunner/Tanja Huberli Friday night and move onto the quarters.
Before pool play started, Kolinske/Hughes won two qualification matches just to reach the main draw.
“This is a huge moment for our team,” Hughes said. “We’ve been working hard for this moment and are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. We’re looking forward to another test tomorrow.”
Sponcil/Cannon, meanwhile, took third in pool B thanks to a three-set win over Brunner/Huberli Friday morning.
Both U.S. men’s pairs competing in the main draw launched bids to advance from pool play Friday, but both fell short. Needing a win over Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb took the Dutch pair to three sets. Brouwer/Meeuwsen pulled ahead in the last third of the third set and held on, eliminating Bourne/Crabb from the playoffs.
Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner entered the day at 0-1 in pool B, but a win over Latvia put the duo firmly in contention at 1-1. They too took their pool leaders to a third set in the final pool match but fell just short.