Santa Monica, USA, March 24, 2014 – USA Volleyball will hold its first ever playoffs for an FIVB World Tour Grand Slam beach event on March 26 at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, California.
Four US women’s and four men’s beach volleyball teams will compete in winners-take-all tournaments to compete for slots (one men’s and one women’s) as the United States’ fourth team in the FIVB Shanghai Jinshan Grand Slam that will take place from April 29 to May 4 in China.
Entry into FIVB Grand Slam events is
based on points accumulated by both members of the team, which means the top
three US teams in terms of points are entered automatically. The fourth team
will be determined by the playoff, which is free and open to the public.
Automatic Grand Slam qualifiers for the women are April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat along with Emily Day/Summer Ross. On the men’s side, Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Phil Dalhausser/ Sean Rosenthal along with Ryan Doherty/Nick Lucena are automatically entered.
Taking part in the women’s play offs competition will be Jennifer Fopma/Whitney Pavlik (No. 1), Brittany Hochevar/Lane Carico (No. 2), Heather Hughes/Christal Engle (No. 3) along with Sarah Day/ Allison Daley (No. 4). The men’s competition will see Todd Rogers/Theo Brunner (No.1), Will Montgomery/Stafford Slick (No. 2), John Mayer/ Brad Keenan (No. 3) along with John Hyden/Tri Bourne (No. 4).
“We looked at doing this thing every which way,” said Sean Scott, technical manager for the USAV Beach National Teams. “We’ve exhausted every idea. We look at this as the best way to create opportunities for players. It’s up to the players to take that opportunity.”
The men’s first-round matches will begin at 10:00 followed by women’s at 11:00. The men’s final will begin at noon followed by the women’s at 13:00.
In the men’s first round Rogers/Brunner will play Hyden/Bourne while Montgomery/Slick will take on Mayer/Keenan. In the women’s first round, Fopma/Pavlik will play Day/Daley while Hochevar/Carico will take on Hughes/Engle.
The playoffs used to take place at the Grand Slam events themselves. In so-called “Country Quota” matches, teams from the same country would square off for the fourth slot in the tournament. However the FIVB eliminated Country Quota playoffs in 2013.
Due to logistics, USAV cannot hold playoffs for the FIVB Grand Slams following Shanghai. At that point, the U.S. team that is fourth in points will be entered. Teams can gain points at FIVB Open and NORCECA Circuit tournaments.
USAV also should get two wild card entries for the FIVB Grand Slam on July 22-27 in Long Beach, Calif., which will give five U.S. teams per gender a chance to gain points.
Men’s playoff competition
10:00: Todd Rogers/Theo Brunner vs. John Hyden/Tri Bourne
10:00: Will Montgomery/Stafford Slick vs. John Mayer/ Brad Keenan
12:00: Men’s final
Women’s playoff competition
11:00: Jennifer Fopma/Whitney Pavlik
vs. Sarah Day/Allison Daley
11:00: Brittany Hochevar/Lane Carico vs. Heather Hughes/Christal Engle
13:00: Women’s final
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