Xiamen, China, September 22, 2015 - USA's Trevor Crabb/Taylor Crabb progressed to the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball Xiamen Open Main Draw on Tuesday in only their first major tournament.
The Crabb brothers overcame a slow start to defeat Chen Cheng/Yang Cong of China 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) for a spot in the 32-team Main Draw.
Chen Cheng blocked well at the net as the Chinese team got off to a 4-0 lead in the first set. But once Trevor Crabb/Taylor Crabb settled into their rhythm they grabbed the upper hand closing out the set 21-18.
The second set was a nail-biting exchange of points with the Crabb brothers snatching the last two points and the victory.
"We both kind of started slow. But then we started to play a little more aggressively, and we played a lot better together," said Trevor Crabb.
The Crabb brothers are playing their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event together as a team in Xiamen. Taylor said he and his elder brother Trevor have good chemistry although they began to pair up just two months ago.
"As we are brothers, we know each other on defense very well," said Taylor.
The fate was, however, totally different for German young pair Philipp Arne Bergmann and Harms Yannick, who were also making their first appearance on the FIVB World Tour. They went down to Canada's Sam Pedlow/Grant O'Gorman in two sets (24-22, 21-16) in 44 minutes.
The first set swung back and forth as there was no clear difference between the two teams. Trailing at 19-20, Pedlow/O'Gorman managed to save three set points before eventually claiming the set on a powerful spike from Pedlow.
Intelligent play by Pedlow/O'Gorman made the Canadians the dominant pair throughout the second set. With the scores at 20-14, Pedlow/O'Gorman missed out two match points before sealing the victory.
"Last year we came to Xiamen, it was very windy, so we prepared for that (this time). But this year was not as windy. It's hot today. But we played well, we received well, we served well. So I'm happy with the result," said O'Gorman.
"A little bit sloppy in the first set. We only got off the plane two days ago. It's a big time change for us. So we knew today would be a little bit about getting rid of the jet leg. It's a good practice for tomorrow," said Pedlow.
Pedlow/O'Gorman finished 17th last year at the Xiamen Open. They have high hopes for this year's event.
"Last year was disappointing as we were 17th. I was a little hurt, but now I'm fresh 100 percent. So I'm excited to see how we can do at this tournament," said O'Gorman.
"We are hoping we will improve this year. We took the off-season improving on a lot of things. We're looking to do better this year," said Pedlow.
Katsuhiro Shiratori/Yoshiumi Hasegawa defeated Hitoshi Murakami/Kensuke Shoji 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) in an all-Japan clash to progress to the Main Draw, while Rolando Hernandez/Jhonatan Golindano emerged winners of a qualification battle between two Venezuelan teams, knocking out compatriots Igor Hernandez/Leonard Alexis Colina Chourio 21-15, 21-12.
In the final qualification match of the day Michael Watson and Sam O'Dea from New Zealand beat Japan's Hideki Yoshida/Masashi Ogawa 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in 39 minutes.
Austria's Thomas Kunert and Christoph Dressler received a bye in the qualification as the top seeded qualifiers and earned a spot directly in the Main Draw.
The double-gender $150,000 FIVB Xiamen Open is the final point's event on the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar. The event is being held at the Guanyinshan Gold Beach in the Siming District of the Fujian Province. The winning teams in each gender will share the $11,000 first-place prize.