Lausanne, Switzerland, September 18, 2015 - With 20 teams from eight countries competing for the biggest winner’s check in the history of international beach volleyball, the match schedule for the inaugural Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals has been set starting with four days of pool play to determine the pairs for the elimination rounds.
With both men’s and women’s playing in the $500,000 event in the United States where the winning pairs in each gender will split the $100,000 first-place prizes, the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals competition begins September 29 at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park in south Florida and concludes October 4 with the medal matches.
With 10 teams per gender making up the field, pool play will highlight the schedule for the first four days of competition (September 29-October 2). With the top three teams from each pool advancing to the elimination rounds as the group leader will receive a “bye”, the women’s quarterfinals pitting the second- and third-place finishers will be played in the afternoon of October 2 followed by the semifinals the next day. The men’s quarter- and semifinals will be played October 3.
Teams in each pool will play four matches each. The winning team in each group will advance to the October 3 semifinals. The second-place finishers in each pool will play the third-place finishers from each group and will meet in the quarterfinals with the winners advancing to the semifinals.
Here are the pools.
Men’s Pool A: Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson of the United States (6-8 match mark against teams in Pool A, 13-16 against the entire field), Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, the Netherlands (8-13, 18-21), Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg of Brazil (5-2, 9-4), Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain (13-8, 17-16) and Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy (9-10, 17-14).
Men’s Pool B: Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil (11-2 against Pool B, 24-7 against the entire field), Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst of the Netherlands (3-4, 8-10), Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria (5-8, 8-21), Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk of Canada (5-9, 12-16) and Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States (1-2, 2-4).
Women’s Pool A: Lauren Fendrick/April Ross of the United States (playing in first international event together, 0-0 against Pool A, 0-0 against the entire field), Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas of Brazil (12-2, 22-7), Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany (6-3, 16-10), Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain (3-7, 7-14) and Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas of Canada (4-14, 6-28).
Women’s Pool B: Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil (11-1 against Pool B, 20-4 against the entire field), Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan of Canada (4-6, 13-12), Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands (4-5, 16-12), Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy of the United States (2-4, 4-10) and Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany (0-5, 1-6).
In addition to the host country teams of Gibb/Patterson, Dalhausser/Lucena, Fendrick/Ross and Day/Kessy, three World Championship teams (two men’s, one women’s) will be in action along with five Olympic medal winners - Dalhausser, Beijing 2008 gold, Alison, Kessy and Ross, London 2012 silver, and Larissa, London 2012 bronze.
The Brazilian teams of Agatha/Barbara and Alison/Bruno captured the gold medals at the FIVB 2015 World Championships in The Hague while Dutchmen Brouwer/Meeuwsen topped the 2013 World Championship podium in Stare Jablonki, Poland. Other world champions in the field playing with different partners are Dalhausser (2007 with Todd Rogers), Kessy (2009 with Ross), Ross (2009 with Kessy) and Larissa (2011 with Juliana Felisberta).
Nineteen of the 20 teams in the field are currently ranked on the provisional list for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With Brazil securing two spots in the Rio Summer Games by being the host country and winning the 2015 FIVB World Championships, the pairs of Alison/Bruno and Talita/Larissa have already been named by the South American country to fill two of their four Olympic berths for beach volleyball.The teams of Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg and Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas will fill the third and fourth spots on the Brazilian Olympic Beach Volleyball team after being announced Thursday.
Fendrick and Ross are competing together for the first time internationally, as both are listed on the provisional Olympic chart with different partners - Brooke Sweat (Fendrick) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (Ross). Both players are sidelined with shoulder injuries.
Here’s the schedule with two courts being used during the pool play rounds.