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2015-10-01 12:30:00 CET

It's Do-or-Die Thursday

In the men’s and women’s play at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals, only the top three teams in each pool will advance.

It was do-or-die for the USA’s Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day in Pool B on Thursday morning, and with their backs to the wall the Americans delivered. After going down quickly in their first set, 13-21 against Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude, the U.S. women started finding their rhythm in set two, finishing off their opponents in the back-and-forth brawl, 21-19, 15-13.

“That was a fight! Germany played well, but we were ready to battle and we give it our all,“ said Kessy, the 2009 World Champion and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist who, with 15 seasons of play on record, is the most experienced woman in the field. “I’m proud of Em – we didn’t give up, and now here we are, our first win!“

Also in Pool B, Dutch women got their first win of the tournament. The eighth-seeded Spanish men Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera, however, suffered their third loss in a bout with Italy (22-24, 17-21), and with just one more game to play against fifth seeds from Brazil on Friday, as the only winless team in Pool A their hopes are all but gone.

Photocredit: Joerg MitterPhotocredit: Joerg Mitter

A jam-packed afternoon ahead will indicate who is heading toward the top of the field, where each pool winner will get a bye past the initial elimination rounds. American fans will be treated to two major men’s matches. First, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, who have logged two wins including victory against the current World Champions from Brazil, will tackle four-time Olympian Reinder Nummerdor and his teammate Christiaan Varenhorst. Then, in the day’s climax on Center Court, Casey Patterson, who powered past a twisted ankle to triumph against Spain on Wednesday, and his partner Jake Gibb will contend with Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg of Brazil.

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