FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Lucerne Open | 12 - 17 May 2015

#LucerneOpen


Press release

Germans Dominate Lucerne Open Women’s Pool Play


Competing at the Lucerne Open center court net Thursday are Ilka Semmler (left) of Germany against Switzerland's Anouk Verge-Depre

Lucerne, Switzerland, May 14, 2015 - Playing on the sand on the Beach Volleyball courts at the Lido on Lake Lucerne has been a “rewarding site” for the women’s teams from Germany as four pairs from the European country won four of the eight pools here Thursday in the US$150,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Lucerne Open 2015.

By capturing the top spot in their groups, the German women earned a “bye” in Friday’s opening 24-team elimination bracket along with securing a “guaranteed ninth in the inaugural FIVB World Tour stop.  Other women’s teams advancing to the second-round of elimination play were from Canada, The Netherlands, Spain and host Switzerland.

20,000 EYEBALLS OR MORE

With Thursday being a “national holiday” in Switzerland as the country celebrates “Ascension Day”, more 10,000 fans followed the action on the four courts at the Lido where both men’s and women’s play was held during the “money” rounds of the second FIVB World Tour event on the 2015 calendar.

GERMAN GIRLS

The four German teams compiled an 11-1 pool mark the past two days as the pairs of second-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler (Pool B), fourth-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Buthe (Pool D) and 17th-seeded Victoria Bieneck/Julia Grossner (Pool A) each posted 3-0 group records.  Sixth-seeded Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude (Pool F) tied with two other teams in their pool for the group leaders, but the Germans netted the top spot due to point ratio among the tying pairs from Japan and Kazakhstan.

Bieneck and Grossner, who upset the top-seeded team in the tournament Wednesday (Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland), captured Pool A by defeating a tandem from Croatia Thursday.  It was Bieneck and Grossner’s six-straight win in the Lucerne Open as the German girls posted a country quota win Monday and two qualifying victories Tuesday.

SWISS SUCCESS

By posting a 2-0 (21-15 and 24-22) win over ninth-seeded Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova of Russia, eighth-seeded Tanja Goricanec and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland captured Pool B to earn an elimination “bye”.  It was the Swiss’ second win over a Russia pair in group play as Goricanec and Huberli defeated 24th-seeded Yulia Abalakina and Ksenia Dabizha of Russia Wednesday.

OTHER POOL WINNERS

Also advancing from pool play undefeated were third-seeded Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain (Pool C), fifth-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands (Pool E) and 10th-seeded Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas of Canada (Pool G).

Meppelink and Van Iersel, who will be the No. 1-seeded team in next month’s FIVB World Championships in The Netherlands, are the reigning European champions and defeated Goricanec and Huberli for the 2014 title in Cagliari, Italy.  Broder and Valjas are now 10-0 this season on the FIVB World Tour after posting seven-straight wins last month at the Fuzhou Open to claim Canada’s first-ever gold medal on the international circuit.

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

The women will play two elimination rounds Friday and two more on Saturday to set the medal matches for Sunday.  The top three pairs from each pool advanced to the 24-team elimination bracket with each group winner earning a first-round “bye”.  Friday’s schedule will also feature 24 men’s matches, including the final 16 pool contests and the first eight elimination confrontations.  After an 18-match men’s and women’s schedule Saturday, the final matches will be played Sunday as gold medal teams in each gender in the Lucerne Open will each split $11,000.

ON THE HORIZON

Following this week’s play in Switzerland, the men take a week off while the women proceed to the Czech Republic for the US$75,000 Prague Open May 20-24.  The men rejoin the women on the international circuit in Moscow May 26-31 for the first of five grand slam stops on the 2015 FIVB World Tour calendar.

OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION

This week’s double gender FIVB World Tour event is also the second event on the qualifying schedule for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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