FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Moscow Grand Slam | 26 - 31 May 2015

#MoscowGS


Press release

Two Teams Set for Moscow Grand Slam Semi-finals


Marta Menegatti (left) and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy celebrate winning their quarter-final match at the Moscow Grand Slam over a team from the Slovak Republic

Moscow, Russia, May 29, 2015 - One-half of the semi-final program for the Moscow Grand Slam is set with Italian and Dutch pairs winning matches here Friday before heavy rains and thunderstorms around the at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Center courts halted play in the third of four quarter-final matches.

Advancing to Saturday’s first semi-final were seventh-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands and 13th-seeded Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy eliminating tandems from the Slovak Republic and the United States.  The rain and thunderstorms then halted play in the second-set of the match between top-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil and ninth-seeded Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain.

With a quarter-final match between 10th-seeded Fan Wang/Yuan Yue of China and 30th-seeded Carolina Horta/Liliane Maestrini of Brazil still to be played Friday to set the Moscow Grand Slam “final four” pairings, the Brazil-Spain match was stopped after a 35-minute delay due to heavy thunderstorms in the area by FIVB Technical Supervisor Levan Akhvlediani.

Baquerizo and Liliana won the first set 21-17 in 17 minutes after breaking from a 7-7 tie to lead 12-9, 16-12 and 19-16 in the persistent rain on the center court.  Brazil led 7-4 in the second set when the match was stopped after seven minutes of play.  Thirty-five minutes later, the match was “officially” cancelled and rescheduled to start from the beginning at 10:30 a.m. (local time) Saturday on the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Center courts.

The Brazil-China quarter-final will also be played at the same time to give both winning teams an equal time to prepare for the second semi-final match Saturday.  The Italy-Netherlands semi-final is scheduled to be played at 4:35 p.m. followed by the second contest to set the field for Sunday’s medal matches.

Before the “heavy” rains with thunderstorms came, the Italians and Dutch posted quarter-final victories over pairs from the Slovak Republic and the United States, respectively.  Menegatti and Orsi Toth scored a 2-0 (26-24, 26-24) win in 52 minutes over 16th-seeded Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova of the Slovak Republic while Meppelink and Van Iersel eliminated 22nd-seeded Emily Day and Jennifer Kessy of the United States 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) in 47 minutes.

Both matches where played in the rain as the Dutch-America match was delayed for six minutes due to the thunderstorms.

The first “big” event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour, the US$800,000 Moscow Grand Slam continues through Sunday when the medal matches for both men and women will be played.  The men played two elimination rounds Friday and will set the media matches by playing quarter- and semi-final matches Saturday.

After this week’s event, the FIVB World Tour’s first “Major Series” stops are set for Croatia (Pore?, June 1-7) and Norway (Stavanger, June 8-14) before international circuit crosses the Atlantic for the final world championship “tune up” in the United States for the St. Petersburg Grand Slam in Florida (June 15-21).

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