The FIVB World Tour 3-star tournament in Sydney (AUS) was supposed to be about top-seeded Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho defending their title in front of a raucous home crowd.
It didn’t turn out that way, but the crowd was happy anyway, as the Australian duo of Nicole Laird and Becchara Palmer won the tournament, having been seeded only 31st! They defeated the American pair of no. 7 Betsi Flint and Emily Day in three sets in the final, after besting the U.S. team of Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the semis. Sweat and Walsh Jennings finished third.
The men’s tournament was also surprising, with Marco and Esteban Grimalt from Chile – seeded second – standing atop the podium after defeating 25th-seeds Enrico Rossi and Adrian Carambula of Italy in straight sets. Summaries:
FIVB World Tour
Sydney (AUS) ~ 6-10 March 2019
(Full results here)
Men: 1. Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt (CHI); 2. Enrico Rossi/Adrian Carambula (ITA); 3. Stafford Slick/William Allen (USA); 4. Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson (FRA). Semis: Grimalt/Grimalt d. Krou/Rowlandson, 2-0; Rossi/Carambula d. Slick/Allen, 2-0. Third: Slick/Allen d. Krou Rowlandson, 2-0 (injury). Final: Grimalt/Grimalt d. Rossi/Carambula, 2-0 (21-18, 21-12).
Women: 1. Nicole Laird/Becchara Palmer (AUS); 2. Betsi Flint/Emily Day (USA); 3. Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings (USA); 4. Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia (CHN). Semis: Laird/Palmer d. Sweat/Walsh Jennings, 2-1; Flint/Day d. Wang/Xia, 2-0. Third: Sweat/Walsh Jennings d. Wang/Xia, 2-0. Final: Laird/Palmer d. Flint/Day, 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-13)