Quebec City, Canada, July 22, 2011 - Enjoying the benefits of playing close to home for the first time this season, USA’s beach volleyball tandems Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers and Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena remained undefeated Friday to become the first men’s teams to advance to Saturday’s semifinals as the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour continues at the double-elimination $380,000 FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011, presented by Videotron.
Back in North America for the first time since 2007, the double-gender event marks the eighth time the world tour is visiting Canada and the first time competing in Quebec City.
FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour
Quebec Open, Canada | July 19-24
Men | Women
The ninth of 14 men’s and 10th of 15 women’s internationally-televised tournaments on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour schedule, the FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011 will run parallel schedules for both genders. Action began with country quota playoff matches on Tuesday, single elimination qualification tournaments on Wednesday to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team double elimination main draws which started Thursday and runs through Sunday.
The semifinals will conclude play for each gender on Saturday night and medal matches for each gender will be played Sunday afternoon as the winning pairs in each gender share the $30,000 first-place prizes. Silver medal teams will split $21,000, the bronze $15,000 and the fourth-place finishers dividing $11,200.
The venue for the open tournament in Quebec, which was blanketed with rain showers for over three hours midday on Thursday, is the provincial I’Externat St-Jean Berchmans and Seminaire des Peres Maristes in the Quebec borough of Sillery. Admission is free to Tuesday’s country quota playoff matches as well as Wednesday’s qualification tournaments and ticket information for Thursday through Sunday is available at the event website, www.quebecopenjeep.com or by calling 418.656.3668.
Ticket information for Thursday through Sunday is available at the event website, www.quebecopenjeep.com or by calling 418.656.3668.
Both with 4-0 records in Quebec, USA’s top-seeded Dalhausser/Rogers have earned their 35th final four appearance in 46 career FIVB Swatch World Tour tournaments together while USA’s seventh-seeded Fuerbringer/Lucena, who are playing in their 18th career world tour event, have advanced to the final four for the third time.
Saturday’s matches will include the remaining four matches from the contender’s bracket starting at 1 p.m. to determine the final two teams who will meet the two American teams in Saturday evening’s nationally-televised semifinals, which will run consecutively starting at 6 p.m. on the Quebec center court, where crowds all week have been large and enthusiastic.
Marching to the final four, USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers defeated teams from Brazil and the United States on Friday. Going three sets to secure both of their victories Friday, the 2008 Olympic champions started their day, by defeating Brazil’s eighth-seeded Thiago Santos Barbosa/Harley Marques, 21-15, 19-21 and 15-11 in 58 minutes and in their all-American quarterfinal held under the lights in front of an overflow crowd of more than 4,000 on the Quebec center court, Dalhausser/Rogers beat long-time opponent fifth-seeded Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal, 21-15, 15-21 and 15-12 in their 60-minute quarterfinal win. Dalhausser/Rogers now have a 43-10 record on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour and increased their FIVB career record against their American compatriots to 12-5.
With the scored tied four times early in the tiebreaker set and the score at 6-5, Dalhausser made an amazing dig to Rogers who set him up for a kill that gave Dalhausser/Rogers the lead they never relinquished.
USA’s Fuerbringer/Lucena advanced to the final four on Friday by defeating teams from Germany and Latvia. To start their day, they upset Germany’s second-seeded Jonahan Erdmann/Kay Matysik in three sets, 17-21, 21-17 and 17-15 in 62 minutes, the longest match of the day. In their quarterfinal nightcap, the Americans top Latvia’s sixth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilous/Ruslans Sorokins, 21-19, 21-15 in 37 minutes. Fuerbringer/Lucena have now advanced to their third final four as they are playing in their 18th FIVB Swatch World Tour event together.
“We have played them nearly 60 times counting in the old U.S. domestic series so we definitely don’t fool each other and often it comes down to what it did tonight, who made fewer mistakes and that’s how we were able to pull it out in the third set,” said Rogers following his team’s quarterfinal victory. “We just know each other so well and we didn’t have hardly any mistakes in the first set and then in the second I had four of five hitting errors and that was that. In the tiebreaker, it was close again then we came up with a couple of big plays to give us the two-point lead and we held it from there. The plan is always to win in two sets, but while that didn’t work out today, we will came out on top in both of them and look forward to another challenge in Saturday’s semifinal.”
Besides Latvia’s Samoilous/Sorokins and USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal, the other four teams still alive in the tournament include two teams from Brazil and one each from Georgia and Sweden. Still playing for Brazil are eighth-seeded Thiago Santos Barbosa/Harley Marques and surprising 29th-seeded Alvaro Filho/Moises Santos along with Georgia’s 14th-seeded Renato Gomes/Jorge Terceiro and Sweden’s 21st-seeded Hannes Brinkborg/Stefan Gunnarsson.
As the FIVB Swatch World Tour has returned to Canada, Canadians started the main draw with four men’s and six women’s teams in the main draw. One women’s team, 10th-seeded Heather Bansley/Elizabeth Maloney is the only Canadian team still alive in the tournament. The highest-finishing men’s team was 28th-seeded Maverick Hatch/Sam Schachter, who ended with a ninth-place finish. Hatch/Schachter were playing in their first FIVB Swatch World Tour event and Schachter won the 2010 FIVB Swatch Junior World Championship with Garrett May.
The FIVB Swatch World Tour previously had tournaments in Canada in Toronto (three from 1998-2000) and Montreal (four from 2002-2007). A total of 97 teams from 29 countries have entered the FIVB Swatch Québec Open Jeep 2011.
The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour calendar features 15 women's and 14 men's events, including 12 double-gender tournaments, within all five FIVB confederations plus one special 24-team single-gender women’s test event held August 9-14 at London’s Horse Guards Parade, the venue for beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour is offering $7.64-million in prize money. Twelve of the tournaments are combined men's and women's events, including the World Championships and all six Grand Slam stops.
After the FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour returns to Europe for the final two of six 2011 Grand Slam double-gender events: July 25-31 in Stare Jablonki, Poland (Mazury Orlen Grand Slam Stare Jablonki 2011) and Klagenfurt, Austria (A1 Grand Slam presented by Volksbank Klagenfurt 2011). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is $600,000.
The FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011 will be the 227th women’s event and 266th men’s event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour (open, grand slam, Olympic and Goodwill). The first men’s FIVB Swatch World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the first women’s event was played August 14-16, 1992 at Almeria, Spain. While this is the 25th year that the FIVB has sanctioned international pro beach volley events, it is the 23rd year of the men’s and 20th year of the women’s FIVB Swatch World Tour.
Also on-site this week in Quebec will be a special production crew from IMG, the company that not only produces the live international telecasts of select matches, but also the weekly FIVB Swatch World Tour highlight show that is syndicated throughout the world.
For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, please visit www.fivb.org or visit the event website at www.quebecopenjeep.com.