FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Long Beach Grand Slam | 18 - 23 August 2015


Press release

Validation or not, PanAm champions on top again

In a rematch of the PanAm Games gold medal match, Alvaro Filho (right) hits against Juan Virgen as Brazilian partner Vitor Felipe follows the action.

Long Beach, Calif., USA, August 19, 2015 - With the men’s competition at the US$800,000 ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball featuring only 16 matches, the confrontation between the two teams that competed for the gold medal at last month’s PanAm Games in Canada was the most intriguing.

Although the top-seeded team of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson of the United States were upset by a qualifying team from Brazil on the TrueCar Court at Alamitos Beach, it was an outer court match between Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Alvaro Filho and Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen that was “special”.

“This is special since the Brazilians had defeated us twice before we played for the gold medal in Canada,” said Ontiveros after his team’s 2-1 (15-21, 21-14, 15-8) win in 47 minutes over Felipe and Alvaro in an opening Pool E match.  “I don’t know about it validating our win at the PanAm Games, but I know that we have defeated a very good team twice-in-a-row.  That’s special for us.”

In the PanAm gold medal match July 21 in Toronto, Ontiveros and Virgen posted a 2-1 (18-21, 21-13, 15-8) win in the 57-minute title match over Felipe and Alvaro.  Earlier in Toronto, the Mexicans dropped a pool play match to Felipe and Alvaro (2-0, 21-14, 33-31, 57 minutes).  In the first meeting between the two teams, the Brazilians eliminated Ontiveros and Virgen July 2 at the 2015 FIVB “senior” World Championships (2-1, 21-19, 19-21, 20-18, 68 minutes) in The Netherlands.

“The big difference in our match this time was the wind,” said Ontiveros.  “We handled it better than the Brazilians.  I am glad we did not have to play another match today since this match was tough.  Tomorrow, we have two more tough matches against teams from The Netherlands and Germany.”

Both Thursday opponents have won gold medals on the 2015 FIVB World Tour.  The Mexican’s opening match is against 2013 world champions Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands followed by a contest against Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen of Germany, who captured the FIVB season opening event in Fuzhou, China. 

Brouwer and Meeuwsen, who entered the Long Beach event as the fourth-ranked team in the world with a gold medal finish in Porec, Croatia, defeated the Germans 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) in a 41-minute match Wednesday.  While the Mexicans have never played Bockermann and Fluggen, Ontiveros and Virgen are 0-1 against the Dutch after losing a match in the season opening event in Fuzhou.

While Gibb and Patterson dropped a 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-11) decision to 32nd-seeded Saymon Barbosa/Gustavo Carvalhaes of Brazil in 50 minutes, two-time ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball gold medal winner Phil Dalhausser won his first match Wednesday with new American partner Nick Lucena by defeating ninth-seeded Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) in 34 minutes.

Seeded 24th with Lucena, Dalhausser won his first two ASICS crowns with Sean Rosenthal.  Theo Brunner, Lucena’s former partner as the pair placed fourth at the 2015 world championships in The Hague, is now playing with Rosenthal as the pair dropped a three-set decision to an Italian team Wednesday in their opening match together.

The 32-team Main Draws also features pool play for both men and women with the top three group finishers advancing to the elimination rounds.  Pool winners are guaranteed a first-round “bye” in the knockout rounds when the 24-team elimination bracket begins Friday.

The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball is the second of two events in the United States this season that are part of the qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  The first 2015 American Olympic qualifier was held in mid-June at St. Petersburg, Fla.  Prior to the St. Petersburg Grand Slam, the last Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifying event in the United States was staged in September 2003 at Carson, Calif.

Following the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, the final Grand Slam event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour will be played August 25-30 in Olsztyn, Poland.  The “test” event for the Rio 2016 Olympics will be staged on September 2-6 at exactly the same location for the Summer Games’ Beach Volleyball competition on Copacabana Beach.

Prior to returning to the United States for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (September 29-October 4), the international circuit will stage “open” tournaments in Russia (Sochi, September 8-13) and China (Xiamen, September 22-27).

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