South Africa’s top-ranked team marched effortlessly through the pool stages to stay on track for the East Cape Open beach volleyball title on the second day of the MTN Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The duo – Adrian Strydom (Cape Town) and Grant Viljoen (Johannesburg) – won all three of their pool matches to finish top of Pool A in what is considered the country’s biggest tournament.

They were set to face Durbanites Carlos Khoza and Protos Mngoma, ranked sixth, in the first quarterfinal later on Saturday.

Freedom Chiya and Grant Goldschmidt from Cape Town, rated the country’s second best team, were also still in the mix after winning all their matches to finish top of the pile in Pool B. They were to meet the fifth-ranked Cape Town pairing of Leo Williams and Antonio Rossouw.

Jerome Fredericks and Ivan Solomans completed the Western Cape domination by winning Pool C. The third-ranked pair was to meet local boys Peter Size and Shaun Dedericks.

The last quarterfinal was to be an all-Capetonian affair where Pool D winners Clinton Stemmet and Ricky Stevens, ranked four, were to clash with Sholto Simms and André Burness.

According to Volleyball South Africa’s tournament director, Gershon Rorich, the weather was perfect for beach volleyball. “The light wind makes it bearable, while at the same time testing the players’ skills.”

The semi-finals and final will take place tomorrow (Sunday) at 10am and 4pm respectively.

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Coetzee Gouws
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MTN Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival