Lausanne, Switzerland, May 9, 2011 - The second of 12 double-gender event on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour was played this past week in Shanghai, China where Sanne Keizer/Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands won their first FIVB Swatch World Tour women’s gold medal and the second all-time women’s gold medal for their country. Reigning Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States won the men’s gold medal for their second straight victory to open the 2011 season and their 19th career FIVB gold medal as a team and 29th medal and 31st final four finish in 39 FIVB events together.
After an off week this week, the next events on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour calendar are two single-gender events May 17-22. The men will be playing in the Czech Republic at the $190,000 Prague Open and the women will be in Poland competing in the $190,000 Myslowice Open. The next double-gender event will be June 6-11 in China at the $600,000 Beijing Grand Slam, the first of six Grand Slam events on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour schedule. For more information, visit www.fivb.org.
Here are some special Swatch Net Notes following the first two men’s and first three women’s events of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour schedule:
DUTCH DELIGHT - Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel became the second women’s team from the Netherlands to win a FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour gold medal as the Dutch pair scored a come-from-behind 15-21, 26-24 and 15-13 win over defending FIVB world champions Jen Kessy and April Ross of the United States in the 62-minute Shanghai final on Sunday. Rebekka Kadijk and Marrit Leenstra captured the Netherlands’ first women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour title by winning the 2003 event in Lianyungang, China. Keizer and Van Iersel’s win also marked their country’s third FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour women’s medal as the pair captured a bronze medal at the 2009 Japanese stop in Osaka where the Dutch pair also defeated an American tandem (Angie Akers and Tyra Turner) in the medal round. Keizer and Van Iersel have won youth and junior FIVB world championships. Keizer teamed with Arjanne Stevens to capture the gold medal at the 2002 FIVB Youth World Championships in Xylokastro, Greece. Van Iersel collected a junior world title with Danielle Remmers at the 2008 Championships in Brighton, England.
TOP SEEDS NO MORE - For only the second-time since recording seeds for women’s FIVB events, an international “final four” did not feature one of the top four-seeded teams in a tournament as Sunday’s finale in Shanghai saw the fifth, sixth, seventh and 16th-seeded pairs in the semifinals. The elimination of two of the top seeded teams from Brazil in the Shanghai event happened Saturday when the Schwaiger sisters (Doris and Stefanie) of Austria and Jen Kessy/April Ross of the United States beat top-seeded Juliana/Larissa and Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes respectively in a pair of three-sets matches. Second-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang of China placed seventh in Shanghai after being eliminated by Juliana and Larissa. Fourth-seeded Laura Ludwig and Sara Goller of Germany placed ninth after losing back-to-back matches to the Schwaigers and 18th-seeded Greta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti of Italy. Prior to Saturday’s happenings, the last time a FIVB women’s “final four” did not feature one of the top four seeds was in 1995 when 12th-seeded Sandra and Jackie defeated sixth-seeded Karolyn Kirby and Deb Richardson in the finals of a February event in LaSerena, Chile. Fifth-seeded Barbra Fontana and Lori Forsythe defeated 20th-seeded Lisa Arce and Christine Schaefer in the all-American bronze medal match in La Serena. The last time a FIVB men’s “final four” did not feature one of the top four seeds was the first tournament following the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games when the seventh, sixth, 10th and 13th-seeded pairs placed one, two, three and four respectively in Kristiansand, Norway. Overall, six men’s semifinals since 1995 have featured pairs seeded fifth or lower (1995 Marbella, Spain; 1995 Carolina, Puerto Rico; 2003 Klagenfurt, Austria; 2007 Zagreb, Croatia; 2007 Stavanger, Norway and 2008 Kristiansand)
MEN’S MATCH WINNING STREAK - With 12-straight match wins to start the 2011 season, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States have set a FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour record for consecutive match victories with 35-straight wins. The Americans ended the 2009 season by winning 23-straight matches after forfeiting a pool play contest last August in Klagenfurt, Austria, to Miguel Maia and Pedro Rosas of Portugal. Dalhausser and Rogers ended the 2010 season by winning their next four matches in Klagenfurt to capture the Austrian Grand Slam gold medal followed by title performances in Poland (seven wins in Stare Jablonki), Norway (six wins in Kristansand) and Finland (six wins in Åland). The Beijing 2008 Olympic champions started the 2010 season by claiming gold in Brazil with six wins in Brasília followed by last week’s six-straight win performance in Shanghai, China. Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann held the record with 25-straight match wins during the 2009 season when the Germans started the streak with eight-straight match wins to capture the gold medal at the 2009 FIVB Swatch World Championships in Stavanger, Norway. Brink and Reckermann won the next two FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Grand Slam events in Switzerland and Russia with seven victories in each. After winning their first three matches in the French Grand Slam in Marseille, Brink and Reckermann’s streak ended after losing 21-18 and 21-15 to 2007 world champions Dalhausser and Rogers. Brazilians Emanuel Rego and Jose Loiola had held the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour record for most consecutive match wins at 22-straight victories from July 24 through August 19, 1999.
WOMEN’S MATCH WINNING STREAK - Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the United States hold the overall team record for consecutive victories with 74-straight wins, including their last seven triumphs at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. May-Treanor and Walsh, who did not play together internationally in 2009 and 2010, renewed their partnership in Brasília last month with five-straight wins to extend the winning streak to 79 before losing a three-set gold medal match to Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil in the final.
MEN’S EVENT WINNING STREAK - By winning the Shanghai gold medal match, Dalhausser and Rogers have now won seven-straight FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour events to set a circuit record. Dalhausser and Rogers ended the 2010 season by winning their last five events in Switzerland (Gstaad), Austria (Klagenfurt), Poland (Stare Jablonki), Norway (Kristiansand) and Finland (Åland). The Americans opened the 2011 season by capturing the Brazilian stop in Brasília last month. The previous record for consecutive tournament titles for a men’s team was six set by Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego in 1999 when the Brazilians won gold medals in Norway, Italy, France, Austria, Portugal and Belgium before finishing seventh in Tenerife, Spain. The overall most consecutive tournaments won by a team is 10 established by the women’s team of May-Treanor and Walsh, who won their last six events in 2007 (Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil and Thailand) and first four of 2008 (Germany, France, Norway and Beijing Olympic Games).
MORE DALHAUSSER & ROGERS - Not counting their forfeit setback at the Austrian Grand Slam last August, Dalhausser and Rogers have won 44-straight matches on the sand since losing a three-set pool play match last July in Switzerland to Jacob Gibb and Sean Rosenthal at the Gstaad Grand Slam. Dalhausser and Rogers have now posted 16-straight “final four” finishes since placing fifth two years ago in the 2009 Swiss Grand Slam in Gstaad. Americans have placed fourth or higher in 25 of their last 26 FIVB events. Since playing in their first FIVB event at the 2005 FIVB World Championships in Berlin, Dalhausser and Rogers have 31 semifinal appearances in 39 international events together. The Americans current string of success has propelled the Dalhausser/Rogers partnership to 19 international titles together to rank second to men’s FIVB gold medal leaders Emanuel and Ricardo Santos of Brazil, who posted 34 gold medal finishes together (including a satellite championship). Juliana and Larissa hold the overall record with 38 women’s titles followed by May-Treanor/Walsh (35) and Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede of Brazil (31).
WINNINGS - By earning $250,500 in their last seven FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour events, Dalhausser and Rogers have now topped the $1m mark to become the fourth men’s and the seventh overall team to exceed the international milestone. Emanuel and Ricardo top the men’s list ($1,856,530) followed by Marcio Araujo/Fabio Luiz Magalhães of Brazil ($1,044,600), Dalhausser/Rogers ($1,032,800) and the Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) of Switzerland ($1,011,670). Adriana and Shelda top the FIVB earnings list with $2,207,965 followed by Juliana/Larissa Franca ($2,157,550) and May-Treanor/Walsh ($1,572,740).
MATCH MARKS - Dalhausser and Rogers’ current winning streak has lifted the Americans to the top spot on the men’s list for match winning percentage. Dalhausser and Rogers currently have a 216-43 win-loss record from 259 FIVB matches and a 83.4% winning percentage. Entering the 2011 season, Jose Loiola and Emanuel of Brazil had the top team winning percentage (176-37, 82.629%) followed by Dalhausser/Rogers (204-43, 82.591%) Tande Ramos/Emanuel (98-21, 82.351%) Ze Marco de Melo/Emanuel (205-44, 82.329%) and Emanuel/Ricardo (445-102, 81.353%).
CENTURY MARK - Brink and Reckermann, the 2009 FIVB world championships, achieved their 100th career match win together on Saturday in Shanghai with their three-set bronze medal win over Spain’s Adriana Gavira and Pablo Herrera. The Germans now have a 100-28 record (78.1%) for 20 FIVB events together. Brink and Reckermann are the most successful German beach volleyball team with four gold medals finishes, 14 medal placements and 16 semifinal appearances since forming their partnership at the start of the 2009 season. After defeating Rogers and Dalhausser in the semifinals of the 2009 World Championships in Norway in the first meeting between the two teams, Brink and Reckermann have lost their next seven matches to Americans.
NO. 16 - Since 1996, only one 16th-seeded women’s team has reached a FIVB gold medal match as Marta Menegatti and Valeria Rosso advanced from the 16th-seed to reach a title match last November in Thailand where the Italians dropped the three-set Phuket final to Amercians Nicole Branagh and Walsh. Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Hanson’s “final four” appearance also marks the second-time a No. 16-seed has reached the semifinals as Georgia’s Andrezza "Rtvelo" Martins and Cristine "Saka" Santanna achieved the feat at the 2008 Austrian Grand Slam in Klagenfurt.
ONLY SEVEN TIMES - Sunday’s women’s final will mark only the seventh-time since 1996 that two teams with a seed number lower than fifth met for a gold medal. The last gold medal match that did not feature a top four-seeded team was Antonelli and Talita’s 2009 title win over Jie Wang and Man Zou of China in the Shanghai finale.
QUALIFIERS IN SEMIFINALS - Fendrick and Hanson of the United States joined a select group of women’s teams to advance from a FIVB qualifier to the Main Draw in back-to-back international appearances. The Americans won country quota and qualifying matches in the 2011 season opening event in Brasília to advance to the Main Draw where Fendrick and Hanson finished fourth. The pair matched the feat in their next FIVB appearance last week in Shanghai by winning qualifying matches to advance to the Main Draw where Fendrick and Hanson again placed fourth. Other women’s teams to accomplish back-to-back advancements to a “final four” were May-Treanor/Holly McPeak of the United States (2000), and Brazilians Talita Antunes/Renata Ribeiro (2005) and Leila Barros/Ana Paula Connelly Henkel (2006). The advancement of a qualifying team to a Main Draw semifinal has now happened 36 times with 23 podium placements (six gold, 10 silver and seven bronze medals) with 13 fourth-place rankings. Fendrick and Hanson did not compete in Sanya. While Hanson was appearing in her second international semifinal, Fendrick placed fourth with Ashley Ivy in the 2009 season finale in Phuket, Thailand.