Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 1, 2012 – What began Saturday with eight remaining teams starting the quarterfinals and semifinals on the sun-drenched sparkling sand of the SEA complex at Halifax Harbor has determined Sunday’s medal match opponents at the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Junior World Championships for players under the age of 21.
With teams from Brazil and Switzerland meeting in the gold medal match and Australia and the United States competing for the bronze medal, this year’s 12th annual double-gender event began Wednesday in Halifax, a regional municipality of nearly 400,000 residents located in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, which is located on the east coast of Canada.
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The world championship event will end Sunday at the purpose-built beach volleyball SEA complex on the Salter Lot of the Halifax Waterfront as 26 countries have been represented in this double-gender world championship. 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.
On a space-available basis, tickets will be available at the gate as the schedule will begin Sunday morning with the men’s semifinals prior to the bronze and gold medal matches for each gender at the SEA stadium center court. Children, five and under, are free when accompanied by an adult. The men’s semis will start Sunday’s schedule at 11 a.m. with the women’s bronze medal match at 1 p.m. and the women’s gold medal match at 2 p.m. followed by the men’s medal matches at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Meeting for the Halifax women’s gold will be Brazil’s seventh-seeded Drussyla Costa/Rebecca Silva facing Switzerland’s second-seeded Nina Betschart/Anouk Verge-Depre while the Halifax bronze medal match will be between Australia’s 12th-seeded Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy and USA’s third-seeded Sara Hughes/Summer Ross.
After the quarterfinals were played earlier in the day, the women’s late afternoon semifinals saw Brazil’s Costa/Silva go three sets before finally mastering Australia’s Artacho/Clancy, 21-14, 18-21 and 15-9 in 43 minutes and Switzerland’s Betschart/ Verge-Depre had to come from behind as well before shutting down USA’s Hughes/Ross, 12-21, 21-17 and 15-10 in 41 minutes in another exciting semifinal match.
Setting the stage for the semifinals was Saturday’s quarterfinals where Brazil’s Costa/Silva held off the gallant effort by Canada’s top-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Taylor Pischke, 24-22, 24-22 in 43 minutes; Australia’s Artacho/Clancy upset Germany’s fourth-seeded Christine Aulenbrock/Kim Behrens, 21-17, 21-18 in 35 minutes; USA’s Hughes/Ross eliminated Germany’s 23rd-seeded Anika Krebs/Sandra Seyfferth, 21-19, 21-10 in 31 minutes and Switzerland’s second-seeded Nina Betschart/Anouk Verge-Depre stopped Russia’s ninth-seeded Ksenia Dabizha/Ekaterina Karapischenko in twin sets as well, 21-18, 21-13 in 33 minutes.
GOLD MEDAL PREVIEW
In the gold medal match Brazil’s Costa/Silva are playing as a team for the first time as is Switzerland’s Betschart/Verge-Depre, but Betschart is no stranger to Halifax as she won the gold medal here last year with Joana Heidrich. Betschart wa a late substitute for Verge-Depre, with whom is playing with as she attempts to win back-to-back gold medals at the FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships. 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.
Brazil’s Costa/Silva enter the championship match with a 6-0 record in Halifax while Switzerland’s Betschart/Verge-Depre are 5-0.
As a side note, the coaches for each team are well known to each other. Brazil’s coach is Jackie Silva, the Atlanta 1996 Olympics gold medal winner with Sandra Pires. Switzerland’s Claudia Laciga is also from Brazill and is married to prominent Swiss pro beach volleyball player Martin Laciga. Silva and Laciga were teammates several years ago on the Brazilian domestic tour.
BRONZE MEDAL PREVIEW
In the bronze medal match Australia’s Artacho/Clancy and USA’s Hughes/Ross are both 5-1 in Halifax. Clancy won the silver medal with a different partner at the 2010 FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships in Porto, Portugal in the same even where Ross won the gold medal with Jane Croson. Ross also that summer set an FIVB mark by winning the gold medal in the junior world championships as well, playing in Alanya, Turkey with Tara Roenicke.
Ross and Hughes are playing in their first tournament as a team. In her semifinal loss, Ross had her youth/junior world championships winning streak broken at 19 straight as she didn’t play in either even in 2011.
FIFTH PLACE FINISHES
With their losses in the Saturday’s quarterfinals, official fifth place finishes will be recorded for Canada’s Humana-Paredes/Pischke, Canada’s Humana-Paredes/Pischke, Germany’s Aulenbrock/Behrens, Germany’s Krebs/Seyfferth and Russia’s Dabizha/Karapischenko.
As the host nation, Canada had three men’s teams and four women’s teams qualified into their respective fields. Besides last year’s silver medalist Humana-Paredes and new teammate Taylor Pischke, who went 3-1 in Halifax, the three other women’s teams representing Canada were Julia Hamer/Charlotte Sider, Sophie Bukovec/Julie Longman and Meaghan MacDougal and Hillary Monette. Hamer/Sider were 3-2 advancing to the single-elimination phase where the lost in the round of 16 to compatriots Humana-Parades/Pischke. Bukovec/Longman and MacDougal/Monette, both from the Halifax area, were 0-3 in pool play, which eliminated them from the tournament with official 25th-place finishes.
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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.
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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 www.sandjamhalifax.ca. 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 www.fivb.org with live streaming from center court available at www.sandjamhalifax.ca.
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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