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Argentina, Italy & Norway men’s pairs two-time winners in Huntington Beach

With partner Nicolas Capogrosso (light blue hat) watching Argentina's Julian Azaad hits against Brazilian 2004 Olympic and 2003 FIVB world champion Ricardo Santos in an opening round match Thursday at the Huntington Beach Open.
Huntington Beach, USA, May 3, 2018 - Men’s teams from Argentina, Italy and Norway posted a pair of winner’s bracket victories each here on Tuesday to lead 16 teams into the third-round of winner’s bracket play at the $300,000 Huntington Beach Open.

Julian Azaad/Nicolas Capogrosso of Argentina, Marco Caminati/Enrico Rossi of Italy and Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway posted seed-break-through wins to advance to Friday’s schedule unbeaten along with five teams from Brazil, two each from Latvia and the United States, and one each from Austria, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

Seeded 28th in the inaugural Huntington Beach Open, Azaad and Capogrosso opened play Thursday by defeating 37th Oscar Brandao/Ricardo Santos of Brazil 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-13) in 51 minutes before upsetting fifth-seeded Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin of Russia 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in 35 minutes.

Caminati and Rossi, seeded 27th, posted a 2-0 (21-15, 21-10) win in 32 minutes over 38th-seeded Ed Ratledge/Eric Zaun of the United States before surprising Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) victory in 51 minutes over the fifth-seeded Russians. Rossi was a replacement for Caminati’s regular partner Alex Ranghieri, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

The 18th-seeded Mol and Sorum opened with 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) victory in 27 minutes over 47th-seeded qualifiers Kacey Losik/Garrett Wilson of the United States before upsetting 18th-seeded Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter of Canada 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) in 41 minutes.

Sam Pedlow (left) of Canada blocks against Christian Sorum of Norway

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To open play on Friday, Azaad/Capogrosso will challenge 12th-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain, Caminati/Rossi confront 11th-seeded Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs of Latvia and Mol/Sorum meet second-seeded and reigning FIVB world champions Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola of Brazil.

Other third-round matches in the winners bracket have top-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States meeting 16th-seeded qualifiers Saymon Barbosa/Alvaro Filho of Brazil, ninth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia against eighth-seeded and Rio 2016 Olympic champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil, 13th-seeded qualifiers Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes/Vitor Felipe of Brazil challenging fourth-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland, third-seeded Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria playing 14th-seeded Theo Brunner/John Hyden of the United States and seventh-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands playing 10th-seeded Pedro Solberg/George Wanderley of Brazil.

The inaugural Huntington Beach Open continues through the weekend at the Pier site where the semifinals and medal matches will be played on Sunday with the winning teams netting the $20,000 first-place prizes.  The second of two FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour events in the United States this season, the Huntington Beach Open is a partnership between the FIVB and the United States’ premier beach volleyball tour - the AVP.

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