FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Sao Paulo Grand Slam | 23 - 28 septembre 2014


Press release

Ten unbeaten women’s teams Wednesday at FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam

Switzerland's Tanja Huberli, left, and Tanja Goricanec are one of 10 women's teams who are 2-0 after Wednesday's first day of pool play at the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam in Brazil.

São Paulo, Brazil, September 24, 2014 — With upsets held to a minimum, 10 women’s teams from seven countries are unbeaten after the first two of three rounds of pool play at this week’s double-gender US$800,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.

The 2014 FIVB World Tour stop is being held in São Paulo through Sunday in a purpose-built venue with four competition courts at the specially-constructed complex on the grounds of the Barueri Arena.

Led by host-country Brazil and Germany with three 2-0 teams each, also undefeated entering Thursday’s final round of pool play are duos from the Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and the United States.

Women’s and men’s single-elimination play will begin on Thursday following pool play the women’s and men’s round of 16 on Friday and women’s and men’s semifinals, concluding the two bronze medal matches on Saturday.. The women’s and men’s gold medal matches and awarding ceremony closing the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam will be held on Sunday.

The unbeaten teams are Brazil’s top-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli, USA’s second-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, Germany’s third-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler,  Czech Republic’s fourth-seeded Marketa Slukova/Kristyna Kolocova, Germany’s sixth-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Buthe, Brazil’s seventh-seeded Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes, Germany’s 10th-seeded Laura Ludwig/Julia Sude, Brazil’s 13th-seeded sisters Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Salgado, Switzerland’s 14th-seeded Tanja Goricanec/Tanja Huberli and Russia’s 21st-seeded Maria Prokopeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva.

Based on tiebrakers, leading seven of the eight pools with undefeated records are Brazil’s Juliana/Antonelli, USA’s Ross/Walsh Jennings, Germany’s Holtwick/Semmler, Czech Republic’s Slukova/Kolokova, Russia’s Prokopeva/Syrtseva, Germany’s Borger/Buthe and Brazil’s Larissa/Talita.

In the eighth pool, teams from Brazil, Canada, Netherlands and the United States all have 1-1 records after Wednesday’s first day of main draw pool play.

April Ross (USA): “It got kind of windy and stormy in our match, so we had to adjust our pass information a little bit, and after we did that, we fixed the problem. I feel we played real well. We had good ball control after we figured the wind out. I’ve seen the forecast and I noticed that the weather will get worse, but whatever tomorrow brings we will play the best we can.”

Kerri Walsh (USA): “I thought it would be a good match. The wind picked up and it is always really good to get some competition play when it’s windy because anything can happen. We have never seen that Canadian team, they are very young and very smart. It  was a good day to us, and tomorrow it gets better, next day better, next day better and Sunday we will be happy. We don’t mind playing in bad weather, it is part of our jobs, so is really good to get experiences playing in different weather, because the ball changes and wind changes and we need to adapt. We are a new team so we need to learn how to adapt to the situations. I feel very welcome here, even though I know Brazilians love to beat Americans, the feeling is mutual.”

Juliana (BRA): “Maria and I, we are really focused to this tournament. I was missing play the FIVB World Tour here in Brazil. Today everything was outstanding, we had the fans in the stands supporting us all the time. I don’t expect less from them, because they are volleyball enthusiasts. We do our best everything we go onto the court”.

Maria Elisa Antonelli (BRA): “It is always a pleasure to play at home, so we can be close to our family, friends and fans. This match against the Argentinians was hard because they have a lot of will to win, fight for every point, so they made some difficulties to us. I really love to compete here in Brazil, I love the culture, I love that Brazilians love beach.”

Brittany Hochevar (USA): They are a very tough serving team, and so as long as our pass-set rhythm was there we had to go aggressive. The Brazilian teams, it's like standing in front of a firing squad, they keep coming and keep coming and keep coming, so set one we had to settle in and I had to get steady with my passes early. That team's new for us, we've never played them before, so we had to challenge both players in our serving and when we got a rhythmn on one we tried to stay on that. I think it was the one-ness of mind, and trusting my instincts on defense.

Katrin Holtwick (GER): "That's how I love my job, we had a good day. We had a four weeks break, the last time we played was German Championships in the end of August and you never know how you will come back after such a break, but we did well, and we enjoyed playing, that's the best we could do today. Of course it's really important because it gives you confidence for the next steps, and tomorrow we play for pool head against Switzerland, and we are confident to win tomorrow."

As the host nation, Brazil has six women’s teams in the field of 32, four teams automatically pre-seeded into the main draw and the two that advanced from the qualifier. For the women, the pre-seeded main draw teams from Brazil and their records are Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, (1-1) Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli (2-0), Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes (2-0) and Liliane Maestrini/Rebecca Cavalcanti (1-1. The advancing Brazilian women’s qualification teams are Taiana Lima/Fernanda Alves (1-1) and sisters Carolina and Maria Clara Salgado (3-0).

The FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam is the 310th FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 27rrd FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992. Gold medal winning teams in each gender in São Paulo will split $57,000, silver will receive $43,000, bronze medalists get $32,000 and the fourth place finishers will earn $24,000 of the $800,000 total purse.

São Paulo REPLAY
Winning the gold medal at the men’s 2013 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam in Brazil was the duo of Brazil’s Pedro Salgado/Bruno Oscar Schmidt. Winning the 2013 women’s FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam gold medal in São Paulo was USA’s April Ross, Keri Walsh Jennings..

The men’s silver medal in São Paulo last year went to USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal while the men’s bronze medal was won by Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins over Spain’s Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira. The women’s silver medal last year went to Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst  while the women’s bronze was won last year by Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Agatha Bednarczuk over Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth.

With extremely enthusiastic standing-room-only crowds in the stadium center courts each event, in the first 30 women’s events in Brazil, the home country has earned 18 gold medals following the by the USA with 11 and China has the other gold. Brazil has swept the podium five times in women’s tournaments. Most recently, the Brazilian women’s most recent sweep was in 2008 in Guarajà.

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