As we approach the 2020 Olympic Games, the summer sun is getting hotter, and the sand is being laid down in Shiokaze Park’s temporary stadium ready for the beach volleyball tournament.
With the players solidified and the pools announced, the competition is fierce, which means a lot of great matches lined up. If you can’t watch all of them, then here are a few that you don’t want to miss!
Women’s Beach Volleyball Competition
Check out all the women’s beach volleyball matches via our tournament schedule.
Pavan/Humana-Paredes (CAN) vs. Klineman/Ross (USA)
Though these players aren’t in the same pool, they could well meet each other in the later stages and its a match up worthy of the final! Pavan and Melissa sit at the top of the FIVB beach volleyball leaderboard in the No. 1 spot, but Alix and April aren’t far behind them. Alix and April won against the Canadians in the women’s round of 24 in Sochi at the 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, a 4-star beach tournament, as well as securing another win over them in Doha.
So even though Pavan and Melissa are ranked higher in the world rankings, the USA duo has a great chance at securing another win over them in this year’s Olympics. But it will not be easy, with Pavan’s long history in volleyball and her ability to read the ball so well. Another thing both teams have going for them is Olympic experience with Pavan and April playing in previous Olympic Games, which is going to be helpful when matches, along with the pressure, get more intense. But both teams are so good that no matter the outcome, it’s going to be a fight and a close match.
Bansley/Wilkerson (CAN) vs. Wang/X.Y. Xia (CHN)
July 24 @ 20:00 JST / 11:00 GMT
These two teams are in the same pool, Pool B, and will play each other early in the competition, so you won’t have to wait around for this intense matchup. Wang and X.Y. Xia are in the No. 9 spot in the FIVB world beach rankings, which is higher than the Canadians who are in the No. 16 spot. This isn’t Wang’s first Olympics after playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, so she will know how to play on the international stage.
Though this Canadian duo is standing behind the No. 1 Candian team of Pavan and Melissa, they are not ones to sleep on. Bansley made it to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympic Games with Pavan as her partner, losing to the Germans, who went on to win the gold medal. Brandie is a big blocker and one to watch on the net. Brandie and Bansley were at the top of the FIVB world beach rankings in 2018, and are hoping to end up at the top once again in this year’s Olympic Games.
Even though the Chinese duo is ranking higher than the Canadians, they are evenly matched after the Canadians secure a 2-0 win over Wang and X.Y. Xia in Warsaw at the 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. So this match will be a battle between two great teams, and definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Men’s Beach Volleyball Tournament
Check out all the men’s beach volleyball matches via our tournament schedule.
Mol A./Sorum C. (NOR) vs. Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy (ROC)
These two pairings are young guys, who ready to take home a gold medal. Though they are in different pools for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we hope that these guys will play each other during the knockout stages. The Russians are in the No. 2 spot in the FIVB world beach rankings, while the Norwegians are in the No. 1 spot. With the exception of Krasilnikov, each of these players are under the age of 26. Stoyanovskiy became the youngest world champion at age 22 in 2019 and is looking to add an Olympic gold medal to his repertoire.
Sorum is 25 years old while Mol is just 24, and yet they are No. 1 in the world beating out beach legends like Dalhausser from USA and Alison from Brazil. They are quick and agile players who are creative up on the net and disciplined in their passing.
If these two pairs go up against each other in the Olympic beach tournament, then the match will be explosive and really fun to watch. Keep an eye out on the bracket so you don’t miss this one.
Alison/Alvaro Filho (BRA) vs. Lucena/Dalhausser (USA)
July 24 @ 12:00 JST / 03:00 GMT
These two pairs are in the same pool, Pool D, so we can expect them to play each other pretty early in the competition. Both Alison and Dalhausser are, like we said above, kings in the world of beach volleyball. Dalhausser has over 100 career wins and is still playing with incredible skill and fitness, even at 41 years old. His game seems to only have gotten better with time, as he’s able to read blocks well and hit smart spots on the sand.
Alison is an older player as well at 35 years old, but like Dalhausser, his game is as strong as ever. Both of these guys have Olympic gold medals and Alison even has a silver medal in his pocket as well, so they are itching to win another gold medal, which is very possible. They both have great partners with them that can clean up the back row, allowing for these big guys to battle it out at the net.
Whoever wins out of these duos could make it pretty far in the tournament because they are so good and have the experience playing under the Olympic pressure.