FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Porec MAJOR | 2 - 7 June 2015


Press release

Porec Major Erase Moscow Memories for French & Turks

Youssef Krou (right) of France competes at the SWATCH Major Series net Thursday against Poland's Mariusz Prudel

Porec, Croatia, June 4, 2015 - It was “no day at the beach” for 32 of the best men’s Beach Volleyball players in the world as only three of the top eight-seeded teams survived “upset” bids here Thursday during the first two rounds of Main Draw pool play at the US$800,000 Porec Major, the inaugural event on the SWATCH Beach Volleyball Major Series.

Making the “biggest” noise at “beach” Thursday were Frenchmen Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson and Turks Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe.  While Giginoglu and Gogtepe failed to qualify for the Main Draw last week in the Moscow Grand Slam, Krou and Rowlandson dropped three pool play matches last week at the Moscow Grand Slam to place 25th in the first “major” event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour calendar.

This week, both pairs bounced back in a “big way” as the 19th-seeded Krou and Rowlandson captured Pool C Thursday with one match remaining in the group Friday.  The 24th-seeded Turks lead Pool H with a 2-0 record and must defeat 25th-seeded and unbeaten Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov of Russia to secure the group title out-right to earn the first-round “bye” and a guaranteed ninth in the Porec Major.

Krou and Rowlandson, who opened the 2015 international season with a bronze medal finish in Fuzhou, China, posted wins over 14th-seeded Alexander Walkenhorst/Stefan Windscheif of Germany 2-1 (21-23, 21-19, 15-12) in 55 minutes and third-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel of Poland 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-13) in 50 minutes.

Giginoglu and Gogtepe, who earned their country’s first-ever medal on the FIVB World tour by placing third last month at the Swiss Open in Lucerne, upset ninth-seeded Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Salgado of Brazil 2-0 (25-23, 20-22, 15-10) in a 58-minute opening Pool H match Thursday before downing eighth-seeded Filip Silic/Ivan Zeljkovic of Croatia 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) in 34 minutes.

Top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil, sixth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst of The Netherlands and seventh-seeded Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira of Spain were the only top-seeded pairs to win as expected Thursday to lead their pools entering Friday’s final group matches at the Porec Major that is being played in the heart of the colorful Croatian coastal city on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.

While the Dutch (Pool F) and Spaniards (Pool G) lead their pools out-right with 2-0 records, Alison and Bruno are tied with 16th-seeded Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk of Canada for Pool A’s top spot with the two teams meeting Friday.  The winner secures a first-round “bye” when elimination play starts later in the day for the second- and third-place finishers in the pools.  The Brazilians have defeated Saxton and Schalk twice in the only FIVB World Tour meetings between the two teams.

Other teams “breaking through” Thursday were 12th-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson of the United States (Pool E) and 29th-seeded Jackson Henriquez/Jesus Villafane of Venezuela (Pool D), who had to win two qualifying matches Wednesday to earn a Main Draw berth.

The Venezuelans opened play Thursday by defeating fourth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik of Germany 2-0 (21-14, 24-22) in 43-minutes.  The Germans captured the bronze medal last week in Moscow.  By posting a 2-0 (21-19, 25-23) win in 44 minutes over 13th-seeded Sean Rosenthal and Stafford Slick of the United States, Jackson and Fane can win the pool out-right by defeating 20th-seeded qualifiers Vitor Felipe/Alvaro Filho of Brazil Friday.

Playing in a pool with three other American teams (11th-time on the FIVB World Tour that three teams from the same country were competing in the same pool, Gibb and Patterson defeated 21st-seeded qualifying compatriots Theo Brunner/Nick Lucena 2-0 (2-17, 21-15) in 36 minutes followed by a 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-13) victory in 50 minutes over 28th-seeded qualifiers Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen of Mexico.

Despite leading their pool, Gibb and Patterson still need to defeat fifth-seeded compatriots Tri Bourne and John Hyden Friday to earn the pool’s “bye” into the elimination rounds.  A loss by the Pool E leaders coupled with Bruner and Lucena defeating Ontiveros and Virgen would give Bourne and Hyden the group title.

Pool E was the only group not to produce a “clear-cut” leader as all four teams have a 1-1 record and have a path to netting the “bye” for the first-round of elimination.  Second-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil were upset in their first match Thursday by 31st-seeded qualifier Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri of Italy 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) in 37 minutes to set the “theme” for the group.

While Emanuel and Ricardo rebounded to defeat 18th-seeded Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko of Kazakhstan 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) in 38 minutes, the Italians dropped a 2-0 (31-29, 21-16) in 46 minutes to 15th-seeded Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria.  In their first match Thursday, Doppler and Horst lost to the team from Kazakhstan 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-11) in 52 minutes.

The Porec Major’s medal matches for women will be played Saturday while the men’s “final four” contests will be staged Sunday.  The winning teams in both genders will share the $57,000 first-place prizes along with gathering 800 “valuable” points that will help determine the field for the season-ending SWATCH Major Series event in the United States at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Following this and next week’s SWATCH Major Series event in Norway, the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for an event in the United States in St. Petersburg, Fla.  The June schedule ends with the start of the world championships in The Netherlands.  Reigning FIVB world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands are entered this week.

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