Third-seeded Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) scored 2-0 victories over Great Britain’s Lucy Boulton and Denise Johns and Greece’s Efthalia Koutroumanidou and Maria Tsiartsiani in the first two rounds. However, in Thursday’s third round they will face their countrywomen: sixth-ranked Rachel Wacholder (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Meyers Beach, Fla.).
Wacholder and Turner defeated No. 27 Heidi Ilustre and Diane Pascua of the Philippines, 2-0 and beat Cristine Saka and Andrezza Rtvelo of Georgia, 2-1.
Fourth-seeded Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Newport Beach, Calif.) advance to the third round with victories over Japan’s No. 29 Satoko Urata and Suzuki Hiromi (2-0) and Austria’s 13th-ranked Sara Montagnolli and Sabine Swoboda (2-1).
On Thursday, Boss and Ross will face Greece’s fifth-ranked Vassiliki Karadassiou and Vassiliki Arvanity.
The 12th of 13 double-gender events on the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour calendar, the women’s St. Petersburg Open concludes Saturday. The gold-medal teams will share the $32,000 first-place prizes. The event is also worth points toward Olympic qualification.