Dutch dig by Sanne Keizer (left) as partner Marleen Van Iersel watches the action
Stavanger, Norway, Despite losing her match here Tuesday playing with Sanne Keizer, Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands will continue to have the opportunity to compete for a world title this week as the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships presented by ConocoPhillips continues on the Vaagen Harbour dockside courts.
Van Iersel, who won the 2008 SWATCH FIVB Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21, and Keizer captured Pool K by having a better point ratio (1.111, points scored divided by points allowed) than the other two teams from France and the Czech Republic in their group at the US$1-million competition where 48 men’s teams are also playing.
Seeded 14th in the 48-team women’s field, Keizer and Van Iersel dropped a 14-21, 28-26 and 20-18 decision Tuesday to 11th-seeded Lenka Hajeckova and Sona Novakova of the Czech Republic in 57 minutes. Earlier in the competition, Czech lost (23-21, 18-21, and 15-11) to 35th-seeded Tatiana Barerra and Virginie Sarpaux after the French pair had lost to Keizer and Van Iersel (21-19 and 21-15).
The Pool K tie-breaking process was the only finishing group Tuesday with a three-way deadlock. Three pools were decided by head-to-head competition where teams from the United States (Pool A), Brazil (Pool E) and Germany (Pool J). A second German (Pool I) and American (Pool F) team won the last pools to be decided on strength point ratio and a head-to-head meeting, respectively.
Jen Kessy and April Ross of the United States protected their top seed for the 32-team elimination bracket by defeating 24th-seeded Inese Jursone and Inguna Minusa of Latvia 21-13 and 21-14 in a 35-minute Pool A centre court match while Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly of Brazil maintained their fifth-seed with a 21-17 and 21-17 victory in 38 minutes over 20th-seeded Vassiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani of Greece in Pool E.
Tenth-seeded Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig of Germany also finished Pool J unbeaten by scoring a 21-14 and 21-14 win in 35 minutes over 15th-seeded Ying Huang and Xi Zhang of China. Xi Zhang captured the bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with Chen Xue, who is playing this week with Ying Zhang as the 23rd-seeded pair in Pool B.
Sixth-seeded Angie Akers, who turned 33 Tuesday, and Tyra Turner of the United States claimed Pool F despite losing 21-17 and 21-19 in 45 minutes to 19th-seeded Angelica Ljungquist/Karin Lundqvist of Sweden. The Americans tied 43rd-seeded Isabelle Forrer and Sarah Schmocker in their pool with 2-1 records, but Akers and Turner had defeated the Swiss (21-13 and 21-19) earlier in the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships.
The final pool decided Tuesday saw 16th-seeded Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau forfeiting their match to ninth-seeded Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen of Norway, but the Germans won Pool I due to a point ratio (1.235) to break a three-way tie. Hakedal and Torlen’s setback to 33rd-seeded Cristine "Saka" Santanna and Andrezza "Rtvelo" Martins gave the Georgian duo the No. 3 finish in Pool I.