Hatch and Schachter nearly upset top-seeds

SHANGHAI (May 1, 2013)– Maverick Hatch of Comox, B.C., and Sam Schachter of Toronto nearly caused the upset of the year in opening round robin play at an FIVB Grand Slam beach volleyball tournament.

In Pool A, Hatch and Schachter lost their opening main draw match to number-one seeds Penggen Wu and Jiaxin Wu of China in extra points in the third set 21-15, 21-23, 20-18. It was one of the longest matches of the day at 53 minutes.

After the Chinese took the first set easily and with the score tied at 21-all in the second, Wu made two unforced spiking errors to allow the Canadians to win set two 23-21. The two sides fought point by point in the tiebreaker before Wu Jiaxin won a fight against Hatch over the net to give the Chinese the edge at 19-18 and Wu Penggen clinched the winner with an ace.

Hatch and Schachter fell to 0-2 losing to 16th seeds Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands 21-16, 21-12.

Christian Redmann and Olympian Josh Binstock of Toronto are also 0-2 after losses on Wednesday. Both Canadian pairs, which won two matches in qualifying Tuesday to advance to the main draw, must win their last round robin matches on Thursday to advance to the playoff round.

In women’s qualifying, Jaime Broder of Victoria and Kristina Valjas of Toronto continued to shine posting two wins to qualify for the main draw for a second straight week. They were a career best ninth last week at the World Tour stop in Fuzhou, China.

One of their wins was a come from behind effort (15-21, 21-18, 15-9) win over Andrea and Claudia Galindo from Colombia.

“Feeling pretty good, it’s always nice to make it into the main draw,” said Broder. “Qualifiers are a battle. We definitely got tested today, but we’re happy to pull off a win in the end. The wind picked up a lot in the afternoon so we had to get our bearings a little bit there and we were making a few more unforced errors than we wanted to so it was just about controlling our side and finding our style of play.”

Caleigh Whitaker and Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., and Liz Maloney and Heather Bansley of Toronto did not advance.

The women’s main draw starts Thursday.

More information: www.fivb.org and www.volleyball.ca