FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Lucerne Open | 12 - 17 May 2015


Press release

Women’s “Elite 8” for the Lucerne Open Set

Barbara Hansel (right) and Stefanie Schwaiger of Austria posted two elimination wins Friday to advance to the Lucerne Open "Elite 8" matches Saturday.

Lucerne, Switzerland, May 15, 2015 - The women’s “Elite 8” for the Lucerne Open is set after Beach Volleyball pairs from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Russia advanced to the quarter-finals of the inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Lucerne Open 2015 where Friday’s two rounds of elimination were played in near-freezing temperature and consistent rain showers on the Lido courts next to Lake Lucerne.


The US$150,000 Lucerne Open had “remarkable” Beach Volleyball weather for the first four days of competition, but Friday’s play in the outdoor elements was the opposite with temperatures hovering around 9°C (48°F) with consistent rain showers.  The women’s schedule featured 16 matches in the 24-team elimination bracket.


Veteran FIVB World Tour participants Barbara Hansel and Stefanie Schwaiger of Austria rebounded from a pair of pool setbacks to teams from Canada to advance to the women’s Elite 8” by eliminating pairs from Venezuela and Germany Friday.  The Austrians’ second win Friday was a 2-0 (22-20, 21-15) victory over second-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler of Germany.


Brazilian success stories are brewing as 28th-seeded Carolina Horta/Liliane Maestrini and 29th-seeded Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia netted two elimination victories each Friday to improve their Lucerne Open records 6-1.  Carolina and Liliane ousted pairs from Finland and Spain while Eduarda and Elize eliminated tandems from the Unites States and Switzerland.  In addition to each team winning four of five matches in the Main Draw, the Brazilians both won two qualifying contests Tuesday.


Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grossner continued their winning ways Friday as the 17th-seeded Germans eliminated 27th-seeded Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan.  Bieneck and Grossner have now won seven-straight matches in the Lucerne Open, including a country quota win Monday, two qualifying victories Tuesday and three pool play triumphs Wednesday and Thursday..


Also advancing to Friday’s six-match women’s schedule are fourth-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Buthe of Germany, fifth-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands, ninth-seeded Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova of Russia and 10th-seeded Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas of Canada.

Broder and Valjas are now 11-0 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.  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.


Quarter-final matches Saturday will have Hansel/Schwaiger playing Eduarda/Elize, Birlova/Ukolova challenging Borger/Buthe, Carolina/Liliane facing Meppelink/Van Iersel and Broder/Valjas meeting Bieneck/Grossner.  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.


Competition is complete for the Swiss women in the Lucerne Open as the pairs of top-seeded Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, eighth-seeded Tanja Goricanec/Tanja Huberli and 15th-seeded Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre were ousted from the tournament Friday.  The Heidrich/Zumkehr and Forrer/Verge-Depre tandems split a pair of elimination matches Friday while Goricanec/Huberli could not take advantage of a “bye” into the second round.

Heidrich/Zumkehr eliminated a team from Spain in three sets before being ousted by Meppelink/Van Iersel.  Forrer/Verge-Depre opened with a victory over an Italian pair Friday before being eliminated by Broder/Valjas.  Eduarda/Elize rallied from a first set defeat to Goricanec/Huberli to oust the Swiss tandem in three sets.

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