Press release

Women's quarterfinal field set at FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships

Brazil's Drussyla Costa digs the Mikasa for Rebecca Silva as the undefeated duo advanced Friday to the quarterfinals on Saturday at the 2012 FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 31, 2012 – Following Friday’s first round and round of 16 matches in the single-elimination bracket phase of the tournament, eight teams remain alive in the Halifax Harbor sunshine hunt for the women’s gold medal at the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21. This year’s 12th annual double-gender event began Wednesday in Halifax, a regional municipality of over 300,000 residents located in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, which is located on the east coast of Canada.

After the round of 16 matches played Friday afternoon at the SEA complex, eight teams from seven countries will meet in the quarterfinals Saturday morning with the winners advancing to the semifinals Saturday afternoon. With Germany advancing two teams to the quarterfinals, other countries earning quarterfinal spots are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Switzerland and the United States.

The world championship event is being held through Sunday at the purpose-built beach volleyball SEA complex on the Salter Lot of the Halifax Waterfront. This is the not only the second time in the event’s 12-year history that it is being held in North America, but also the second straight year in Halifax.

The top three teams in each pool (24 total) advanced to the single-elimination bracket phase of the tournament.  The women began their single elimination phase with two rounds on Friday followed by the women’s quarterfinals and semifinals on Saturday. Men played their final pool play matches and first elimination round on Friday, followed by the second round and quarterfinals on Saturday and the semifinals on Sunday morning.

The bronze and gold medal matches for each gender will be held on Sunday afternoon at the SEA stadium center court.

The first four matches from the round of 16 started with all-Canadian match as Canada’s top-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Taylor Pischke stopped compatriots’s 24th-seeded Julia Hamer/Charlotte Sider, USA’s third-seeded Sara Hughes/Summer Ross defeat Venezuela’s 20th-seeded Guadalupe Gonzalez/Gina Viva Andrade, 21-19, 21-16 in 34 minutes; Germany’s fourth-seeded Kim Behrens/Christine Aulenbrock hold on against Austria’s eighth-seeded Lena Plsiutschnig/Katharina Schuetzenhoefer, 21-18, 26-28 and 16-14 in 60 minutes and Brazil’s seventh-seeded Drussyla Costa/Rebecca Silva topped Poland’s fifth-seeded Jagoda Gruszcynska/Katarzyna Kociolek, 21-16, 21-18 in 34 minutes.

In the second half of the round of 16 matches, Switzerland’s second-seeded Nina Betschart/Anouk Verge-Depre stopped Mexico’s Maura Martinez/Claudia Rios, 21-16, 21-13 in 29 minutes; Russia’s ninth-seeded Ksenia Dabizha/Ekaterina Karapischenko stopped Norway’s 13th-seeded Irmelin Sannarnes/Signe Tauboll, 23-21, 21-11 in 33 minutes; Germany’s 23rd-seeded Anika Krebs/Sandra Seyfferth upset Czech Republic’s 11th-seeded Eliska Galova/Tereza Vankova, 21-19, 21-16 in 34 minutes and Australia’s 12th-seeded Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy toppled Poland’s 22nd-seeded Agata Oleksy/Paulina Stasiak, 21-13, 21-16 in 32 minutes.

In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Switzerland’s Betschart/Verge-Depre will play Russia’s Dabizha/Karapischenko; USA’s Hughes/Ross will challenge Germany’s Krebs/Seyfferth; Germany’s Alenbrock/Behrens will face Australia’s Artacho/Clancy; and Canada’s Humana-Paredes/Pischke will battle Brazil’s Costa/Silva.

With their losses in the round of 16, official ninth place finishes will be recorded for Poland’s Gruszczynska/Kociolek, Austria’s Plesiutschnig/Schuetzenhoefer, Czech Republic’s Falova/Vankova, Norway’s Sannarnes/Tauboll, Mexico’s Martinez/Rios, Venezuela’s Guadalupe Gonzalez/Gina Viva Andrade, Poland’s Oleksy/Stasiak and Canada’s Hamer/Sider.

Switzerland’s Betschart, who won the gold medal last year in Halifax with Joana Heidrich, is playing this year with Verge-Depre. Verge-Depre, who finished fifth in the 2009 youth worlds in Alanya, Turkey, has played in 11 FIVB SWATCH World Tour events, including seven this season.

Another one of the top women’s entries is USA’s Ross, who won the inaugural USA national collegiate sand volleyball pairs championship this past spring. Ross, who is playing with Sara Hughes for the first time in Halifax, was a double gold-medal winner in 2010, winning the youth world championship with Jane Croson in Porto, Portugal and the junior worlds with Tara Roenicke in Alanya, Turkey.

Ross/Hughes are playing in their first tournament as a team.

Among the other top returning women’s players is Canada’s Humana-Paredes who won the silver medal in Halifax last year with Victoria Altomare. Humana-Paredes is playing this year’s event with Taylor Pischke.

In winning their abbreviated pool, Humana-Paredes/Pischke, who two weeks ago won the Canadian National Championship, earned their third win in Halifax on Friday.

In addition to Switzerland’s Betschart, USA’s Ross and Canada’s Humana-Paredes, among the other top women’s players In Halifax is Germany’s Aulenbrock who won the women’s gold medal at the 2009 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships in Alanya with Victoria Bieneck. Aulenbrock, who finished fifth in Halifax last year with Isabell Schneider, is teamed this year with Behrens for the first time.

Both finishing in ninth place in Halifax last year with different partners, teamed together this year are Russia’s Karapischenko, 19, and Dabizha, 18, both veteran international players despite their young ages. Karapischenko won the silver medal in 2009 (Alanya, Turkey) and 2010 (Poroto, Portugal), the bronze in 2008 (the Hague, Netherlands) and finished ninth in 2007 (Myslowice, Poland) at the FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships as well as a 25th (Modena, Italy) at the FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships.

Dabizha, on the other hand, won the bronze medal (Larnaka, Cyprus) in 2012 and had ninth place finishes in 2010 (Porto, Portugal) and 2011 (Umag, Croatia) at the FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships.

As the host nation, Canada has three men’s teams and four women’s teams qualified into their respective fields. Besides Humana-Paredes and new teammate Pischke, the three other women’s teams representing Canada are Julia Hamer/Charlotte Sider, Sophie Bukovec/Julie Longman and Meaghan MacDougal and Hillary Monette. In pool play, Humana/Paredes/Pischke were 2-0 and Hamer/Sider were 1-2 to advance to the single-elimination phase. Bukovec/Longman and MacDougal/Monette, both from the Halifax area, were 0-3, eliminating them from the tournament with official 25th-place finishes.

The gold medal team in each gender in Halifax will also be rewarded by the FIVB and the organizers with wild cards and free transportation and an automatic main draw berth in a FIVB SWATCH World Tour event in 2012 or 2013. A total of 2,000 tons of special sand was transported to the SEA stadium complex to build the four competition and two practice courts for the venue, which includes the 3,000-seat featured SEA stadium center court.

A total of 2,000 tons of special sand has been transported to the Salter Sand complex to build the four competition and two practice courts for the venue, which includes the 3,000-seat stadium center court. Single day tickets for the event are on sale through the event website at Event information is available at 902.444.3773. Children, five and under, are free for the entire event when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Produced by Canada’s Sports and Entertainment Atlantic (SEA) in association with Volleyball Canada and the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), more information is available at with live streaming from center court available at

Also on-site in Halifax has been an IMG production crew who are developing special segments from both the men’s women’s competition to air in the near future as special segments on the highly-acclaimed, internationally-syndicated weekly FIVB SWATCH World Tour highlight shows.

A founding province of Canada, Nova Scotia is nearly surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and is known for its high tides, lobster, fish, blueberries and apples. Halifax was the site of the first British town in Canada, founded in 1749. Since then, the area has evolved to be home for charming fishing villages, farming communities and Atlantic Canada's largest city. Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada, has flourished as a prominent port city. Halifax was founded in 1749 by Governor Edward Cornwallis and 2,500 settlers to act as a naval and army base to protect the area, creating Canada’s first permanent British town on the world’s second-largest natural harbor. The peninsula, which Halifax is located on, is 4.5 miles wide and two miles long.

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