Fort Lauderdale, Fla., September 29, 2015 - The SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals sere launched here Tuesday at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park with three of the four “wild card” entrants in the international beach volleyball event posting opening pool play match wins.
Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy joined Americans Lauren Fendrick/April Ross and Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena in validating their presence in the US$500,000 event where the winning teams in each gender will share the richest winning purses of $100,000 when the event concludes Sunday with the medal matches.
Emily Day and Jen Kessy of the United States, the fourth “wild card” had an opportunity to make it a perfect day for late additions, but dropped a three-set match to a team from Canada. The SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals features the top eight men’s and women’s teams on the FIVB World Tour as of September 6 after the Rio “test” event for the 2016 Olympic Games earning a berth in the tournament.
Tuesday’s schedule featured three men’s and four women’s matches on the 4,000-season stadium court as the three schedule contests on the side court were postponed due to the depth of the sand. All three matches were rescheduled with two being played Wednesday and one Thursday.
In the men’s competition, ninth-seeded Lupo and Nicolai upset top-seeded Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson of the United States 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) in a 35-minute Pool A match. It was the Italian’s third win in five meetings with Gibb and Patterson, who captured June’s USA Grand Slam event in St. Petersburg, Fla.
After reigning FIVB world champions and second-seeded Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil posted a win over sixth-seeded Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria (2-0, 21-18, 7-3 retired, 31 minutes), the 10th-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena scored a 2-0 (23-21, 21-12) win in 34 minutes over seventh-seeded Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada.
Both matches were in Pool B as Horst’s illness in the match with Brazilians gave Alison and Bruno a 6-1 FIVB World Tour edge in matches with the Austrians. Dalhausser and Lucena, who formed their partnership last month for American domestic and international events, are now 2-0 against the Canadians.
Women’s play opened and concluded with Pool A matches featuring eighth-seeded Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez of Spain playing pairs from Germany and Brazil. In the lone Pool B match, the seventh-seeded Day and Kessy dropped a 2-1 (21-13, 15-21, 16-14) decision in 51 minutes to third-seeded Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada. It was the third FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with the Canadians holding a 2-1 edge.
Fifth-seeded Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany defeated Baquerizo and Liliana 2-1 (21-9, 23-25, 15-9) in 46 minutes in the first match Tuesday. Newly-crowned FIVB world champions and fourth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) win in 27 minutes over the Spaniards in the final match of the day. The Germans now have a 3-1 FIVB match mark against Baquerizo and Liliana while Brazilians hold a 4-0 edge.
Here is Wednesday’s schedule as the men’s and women’s teams are seeking to finish in the top three spots in their pool to advance to Friday’s elimination rounds where the group winners will net a “bye” for the quarter-finals and earn a spot in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Men's (#side court, *rescheduled from Tuesday)
• 11 a.m. - Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, United States (No. 1-seeded team) vs. Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera, Spain (8)
• 11 a.m. - Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, Netherlands (3) vs. Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, Canada (7)#
• 1 p.m. - Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Brazil (5) vs. Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy (9)
• 3 p.m. - Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Brazil (2) vs. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, United States (10)
• 3 p.m. - Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands (4) vs. Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera, Spain (8)#*
Women's (#side court, *rescheduled from Tuesday)
• 10 a.m. - Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil (2) vs. Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands (6)
• 10 a.m. - Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Canada (3) vs. Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, Germany (10)#
• 12 p.m. - Lauren Fendrick/April Ross, United States (1) vs. Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil (4)
• 12 p.m. - Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany (5) vs. Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada (9)#
• 2 p.m. - Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands (6) vs. Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, Germany (10)
• 4 p.m. - Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil (2) vs. Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy, United States (7)
• 4 p.m. - Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas Brazil (4) vs. Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada (9)#*