By Nathan Engel
SOFIA, Bulgaria – In round-of-16 play Wednesday, the stakes were high for the U.S. beach volleyball duos.
One loss, and their Games were over.
At the end of the day, two American teams were still in play — Michael Bruning and Eric Vincent, and Shana Lehmann and Michelle Skowzgird.
No. 6 seed Bruning and Vincent defeated No. 11 Bernhard Kurzman and Benedikt Grath of Austria in three sets, 19-21, 21-17, 15-13.
On the other side of the men’s bracket, Dimitri Nikiforov and Steven Menegus faced a tough battle against No. 2 Mykola Tsapkalenko and Anton Koshkarov of Ukraine.
Despite a strong effort by the Americans, the Ukrainians won, 21-9, 21-12.
In the women’s bracket, No. 6 Nancy Moore and Charity Sanders were favored to win against No. 11 Kezban Cagla Ates and Yeter Yalcin of Turkey.
However, the match was much closer than expected, and the Turkish pair defeated Moore and Sanders, 21-23, 24-22, 15-12.
Despite their No. 12 seed, Skowzgird and Lehmann came out ready to take on Ivana Votipkova and Monika Teclova, the No. 5 team from the Czech Republic.
Lehmann and Skowzgird came out on top, crushing the duo in straight sets, 21-12, 21-12.