FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Long Beach Grand Slam | 18 - 23 August 2015

#WSOBV


Press release

ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball features Brazil vs. United States finales


Americans Nick Lucena (left) and Phil Dalhausser express their feelings during their semi-final match with Spain Saturday at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach.

Long Beach, Calif., USA, August 22, 2015 - For the 10th-time in FIVB World Tour history, both the women’s and men’s gold medal matches will be Brazil versus the United States confrontations as teams from the South and North American countries won semi-final matches here Saturday afternoon at the US$800,000 ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball.

With the women playing both quarter-final and semi-final matches Saturday while the men only competed to set the lineup for the medal matches, the Brazilian pairs of Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca and Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt advanced to the title matches on the TrueCar Court at Alamitos Beach where they will face Americans April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings and Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, respectively.

The last time the Brazil vs. USA gender matchups happened at the same FIVB World Tour event was in mid-April 2011 when the South Americans captured the women’s finale before the North Americans topped the men’s podium.  A southern California site was one of the previous Brazil-USA meetings when the South Americans claimed both gold medals at the 1997 FIVB World Championships in Los Angeles at UCLA.

The women’s medal matches will be played first Sunday on the TrueCar Court at Alamitos Beach starting at 10 a.m. followed by the men’s podium placement contests starting at 1:30 p.m.   The gold medal winning teams will share the $57,000 first-place prizes in the fourth of five Grand Slam events on the 2015 FIVB World Tour calendar.

After the eighth-seeded Ross and Walsh Jennings advanced to the finals with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) win in 53 minutes over sixth-seeded Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany, second-seeded Talita and Larissa gained a spot in the title match with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) victory in 42 minutes over seventh-seeded Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy of Australia.

After the men played three rounds of elimination matches Friday to set Saturday’s semi-finals, the 24th-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena defeated 10th-seeded Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 15-13) in 62 minutes while second-seeded Alison and Bruno advanced to the finals with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) win in 39 minutes over fifth-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands.

With more than 12,000 fans watching Saturday’s action on the TrueCar Court at Alamitos Beach, the women’s quarter-finals started Saturday’s play with Ross and Walsh Jennings out-lasting fourth-seeded Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada 2-1 (18-21, 21-14, 18-16) in 75 minutes while Talita and Larissa posted a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) victory in 35 minutes over 11th-seeded Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez of Spain.

While the Americans and Brazilians were playing on the stadium court for their quarter-final matches, Ludwig and Walkenhorst withstood a challenge from 22nd-seeded Linline Matauatu and Pata Miller of Vanuatu to score a 2-1 (21-23, 21-15, 17-15) win in 55 minutes.  Bawden and Clancy reached the semi-finals by eliminating 14th-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler of Germany 2-0 (21-15, 23-21) in 39 minutes.

Sunday’s finals will be the 91st-time that the Brazilian and American women have played for a FIVB World Tour title since the start of the gender’s international competition in 1992.  With the FIVB starting to sanction men’s international Beach Volleyball events in 1987, Brazil and the United States will be competing for a gold medal for the 60th-time.  Both American genders hold an edge in the head-to-head country meetings with the women have a 50-40 advantage while the men have a slight margin of 30-29.

With Dalhausser playing with Lucena for the first-time on the FIVB World Tour since 2005, the “Thin Beast” will be looking for his third-straight ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball title after topping the Long Beach podium the past two seasons with Sean Rosenthal.  Ross and Walsh Jennings are the defending ASICS champions while Talita captured the inaugural event in 2013 with Taiana Lima.

Both Brazilian pairs in the gold medal matches Sunday will be looking for their fourth gold medals on the 2015 FIVB World Tour.  Talita and Larissa topped the podiums at Grand Slam events in Russia, Croatia and Switzerland while Alison and Bruno have dominated the men’s competition lately starting with a gold medal finish at the FIVB “senior” World Championships in The Hague July 5 followed by titles July 12 in Switzerland and July 26 in Japan.

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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