FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Moscow Grand Slam | 26 - 31 May 2015


Press release

Moscow Grand Slam Features Youth Olympians Upset

Russian teenagers and Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic gold medal winners Artem Yarzutkin (left) and Oleg Stoyanovskiy celebrating a point during their upset win over American Olympians Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal.

Moscow, Russia, May 27, 2015 - Youth bettered FIVB World Tour experience here Wednesday afternoon as two teenagers defeated 30-somethings in an opening men’s Moscow Grand Slam pool play match on the center court of the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Center.

Using a “wild card” for the second-straight year for entry into the Moscow Grand Slam, 32nd-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin of Russia stunned the international Beach Volleyball community by scoring a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) win in 34 minutes over top-seeded and two-time Olympians Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal of the United States to take control of Pool A with a team from Austria.

It was the second-straight year the two teams had met in an opening pool play match in the Moscow Grand Slam with the Americans posting a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) win in 2014. Dalhausser and Rosenthal went on to place third in the event while 18-year old Stoyanovskiy and 19-year old Yarzutkin placed 17th as a “wild card”.

Since then, the Americans went on to place second on the 2014 FIVB World Tour with three gold medal finishes and five podium placements in 10 events. The teenage Russians ended last year by capturing the gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Olympic Games in China.

“Give them all the credit in defeating us,” said the 35-year old Dalhausser, who captured the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with Todd Rogers. “Yes, they are much-improved over last year. I think they were playing in their first FIVB World Tour event, so they were very nervous. The key is that we did not play well and they took advantage of our poor play.”

“Their service game was the difference. The little guy (Yarzutkin) didn’t miss a serve and big guy (Stoyanovskiy, 205 cm, 6’9”) was also serving hard,” said the 34-year old Rosenthal, who placed fifth at both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games with Jacob Gibb.

Dalhausser and Rosenthal must now play more experienced teams from Austria and Germany Thursday in an effort to advance of the top three teams from their group. “Pool A is usually a pretty tough group in these tournaments,” said Dalhausser. “This year is no different as both the Austrians and Germans are tough teams.”

In the other Pool A match Wednesday, Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria defeated Alexander Walkenhorst and Stefan Windscheif of Germany 2-0 (21-19, 24-22) in 36 minutes. Doppler and Horst play the Americans first Thursday before meeting the Russians. The Germans open up against the Russians and then play the Americans. Dalhausser has a combined 6-1 record against their Thursday’s opponents on the FIVB World Tour.

With the FIVB World Tour visiting the Russia capital for the 10th-time, Wednesday’s schedule also featured two rounds of women’s pool play matches at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Center. Play continues through Sunday afternoon when both genders compete for the medals following morning semi-finals for the men.

The other top-seeded in their pool losing Wednesday was not as surprise as 11th-seeded Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson posted a 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 19-17) Pool F victory over sixth-seeded compatriots Tri Bourne and John Hyden in the longest match of the day (62 minutes).

Winning as expected Wednesday were second-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil (Pool B), third-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel of Poland (Pool C), fourth-seeded Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos of Brazil (Pool D), fifth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia (Pool E), seventh-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy (Pool G) and eighth-seeded Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov of Russia (Pool H).

Krasilnikov and Semenov became the first host country tandem to top the Moscow Grand Slam podium after defeating Fijalek and Prudel of Poland in the 2014 gold medal match. The US$800,000 Moscow Grand Tour is also part of the qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

 As Dalhausser put it, “if we do not come to play tomorrow, we’ll leave here with a 25th. That’s not good as these Grand Slam events are very important in qualifying for the Olympics.”

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