Xiamen, China, September 23, 2015 - With three Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals participating teams in the US$150,000 Xiamen Open, one pair opened with two men’s pool play wins here Wednesday while the two other tandems learned the opponents for opening group competition Thursday.
Second-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, posted wins over teams from Austria and Belarus Wednesday and can clinch the Pool B title out-right by defeating 15th-seeded Jean-Baptiste Daguerre and Yannick Salvetti of France. The pool title would guarantee Dalhausser and Lucena a first-round “bye” for Friday’s three-rounds of elimination bracket play.
If Daguerre and Salvetti upset the Americans and 31st-seeded Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz-Telsnigg of Austria defeat 18th-seeded Aliaksandr Dziadkou and Aliaksandr Kavalenka of Belarus, the three-way tie would be broken by point-ratio with the top team netting the “bye” and the second- and third-place finishers in Pool B advancing to the first-round of play in the 24-team elimination bracket.
In the women’s completion, Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals participants Emily Day/Jen Kessy of the United States and Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany will be seeded fifth and sixth, respectively in the Xiamen Open. Both teams will face compatriots in their first matches Thursday.
Day and Kessy, will play American rivals and 28th-seeded qualifiers Kim DiCello and Kendra Van Zwieten in their opening Pool E match followed by an afternoon matches against 21st-seeded Sayaka Mizoe/Takemi Nishibori of Japan. Day and Kessy will conclude pool play Friday against 12th-seeded Victoria Bieneck/Julia Grossner of Germany.
Laboureur and Sude play 11th-seeded German rivals Teresa Mersmann/Isabel Schneider in their opening Pool F match Thursday followed by a meeting with 27th-seeded Yuanyuan Ma/Xinyi Xia of China in the afternoon. Laboureur and Sude end group action Friday against 22nd-seeded Nina Betschart/Nicole Eiholzer of Switzerland.
Both Day/Kessy and Laboureur/Sude will be seeking group titles to earn a first-round “bye” in the elimination rounds where the first matches will be played Friday afternoon while the pool winners will advance to Saturday’s second-round matches.
The men’s semi-final and medal matches will be played Saturday with the women’s “final four” confrontations being held Sunday. The podium-topping teams for each gender will share the $11,000 first-place prizes along with netting 500 Olympic qualifying points for the Rio 2016 Summer Games on Copacabana beach.
Once Dalhausser/Lucena, Day/Kessy and Laboureur/Sude conclude play in Xiamen, the Beach Volleyball tandems will board flights and travel half-way around the world to compete in the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals where play begins Tuesday (September 29) and concludes October 4 at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.