Canada’s Wilkerson, Bukovec win twice on opening day of beach volleyball tournament

Canada’s Brandie Wilkerson and Sophie Bukovec picked up two wins on the first day of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Pro Tour Elite 16 stop in Hamburg, Germany, defeating Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi and Germany’s Sandra Ittlinger and Isabell Schneider, respectively.

The Toronto natives entered the tournament ranked 22nd in the world and got off to a strong start against the Italians in the first game, despite the match taking three sets. The Canadians swiftly won the first set 21-15 before dropping the second 18-21. But Wilkerson and Bukovec sealed the victory with a 15-7 win in the third set.

To end their day, the Canadians upset the 14th-ranked Germans, Ittlinger and Schneider, on home sand, winning in straight sets, 24-22 and 22-19. 

The Canadian pair leads Pool D after the first day of competition, with one match remaining against Switzerland’s Esmée Böbner and Zoé Vergé-Dépré on Friday, at 10:00 am ET before taking on the quarter-finals.

Having only partnered up ahead of the 2022 season, the year has been successful for Wilkerson, 29, and Bukovec, 26,  who finished second at the world championships in Rome.

The remainder of the Elite 16 stop in Hamburg will stream live on CBC Sports, CBC Sports app and on CBC Gem, with the final set for 9:00 am ET on Sunday. 

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