2019-03-07 12:01:00 CET

USA on top Down Under

Americans serving it up in Sydney

🇺🇸USA teams battling to top Pool E: Reid Priddy & Theodore Brunner vs @reidpriddy @lordbrunner Billy Allen & Stafford Slick @billyketchallen @staffordslick #VolleyFest #VolleyFestManly #VolleyFest2019 #ilovesydney @fivbvolleyball @sydney

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It’s a long way to Australia – but so far for the American men’s teams who have descended on mass to the continent, it’s been a trip worthwhile.

All five teams in the main draw advanced to the elimination stages of the three-star tournament at Sydney’s Manly Beach, with four of them skipping straight into the round of 16.

Top seeds Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb recovered from losing the first set to triumph in their opener against Spanish youngsters Alejandro Huerta and Cesar Ortego, and the pair followed that up with a straight sets success against new German duo Lars Flüggen and Nils Ehlers.

John Hyden and Ryan Doherty were also two from two, beating Japan’s Takumi Takahashi and Yoshumi Hasegawa in straight sets before edging past Russians Maksim Hudyakov and Ruslan Bykanov in three.

Pool E was a US versus France affair, with two teams from the two nations involved, including two new US constellations, Reid Priddy/Theo Brunner and Billy Allen/Stafford Slick. Both American teams won their pool openers against the French, setting up a winner-advances-straight-to-the-last-16-battle. The game went the distance, with Theo and Reid shading the third set, winning 21-16, 19-21, 15-12. 

Finally, Bill Kolinske and Miles Evans completed a good first day’s competition for the United States by topping Pool E following two victories. After a comfortable win over Thailand’s Nuttanon/Adisorn, they recorded a fine straight sets success over home favorites Chris McHugh and Zachery Schubert.

Other teams also through to round 2 in the men's draw include Chilean cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt and Italy's Enrico Rossi and Adrian Carambula. 

The US women’s partnerships also flourished. Brittany Howard and Kelly Reeves and Betsi Flint and Emily Day won their openers, but three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat went down in three sets to in-form Greek pair Vasiliki Arvaniti and Panagiota Karagkouni.

Kerri and Brooke will aim to reach the elimination round with a must-win match against Japan’s Takemi Nishibori and Ayumi Kusano when the action resumes on Friday.

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