FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Gstaad MAJOR | 7 - 12 July 2015


Press release

World Championship Success = Nothing But More Matches

Theo Brunner (left) and Nick Lucena of the United States, fourth-place finishers at the world championships this past weekend, continue their "perfect" preliminary round mark after winning two qualifying matches in the Gstaad Major.

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 8, 2015 - Six days after posting their second-straight “final four” finish on the FIVB World Tour, Americans Theo Brunner and Nick Lucena where back here Wednesday qualifying for another Main Draw berth in an international Beach Volleyball event.

One would assume a fourth-place finish in the 2015 “senior” Beach Volleyball World Championships this past weekend in The Netherlands after capturing the bronze medal at the previous FIVB World Tour stop in the United States would merit automatic qualification for the “money” rounds in an event on the international circuit.

The assumption is wrong because Brunner and Lucena entered the 2015 season as the fourth-ranked American tandem on the FIVB World Tour behind Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal, Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson and Tri Bourne/John Hyden.  As per world tour regulations and excluding “wild cards”, only three teams from a country can be directly seeded into an event’s Main Draw with a fourth pair having the opportunity to qualify for the “money” rounds.

Therefore, Brunner and Lucena were playing in their fourth FIVB World Tour qualifier this season.  For the Americans, the results have been “perfect” in the preliminary rounds as Brunner and Lucena improved their qualifying record this season to 8-0 with a pair of wins Wednesday over teams from Switzerland and Argentina as the top-seeded tandem in the 32-team qualifier.

With the other three American pairs having previous experience together during the 2014 season, Brunner and Lucena’s combined points forced them into “qualifying hell” along with facing potential country quota playoff matches if additional tandems from the United States enter an event. 

This week’s Gstaad Major was an exception as Dalhausser and Rosenthal withdrew from the event due to injuries leaving the United States with two teams (Gibb/Patterson and Bourne/Hyden) in the Main Draw with Brunner and Lucena joining Ryan Doherty and John Mayer in the qualifier.

Combined with a pair of country quota wins to improve their record to 10-0 in the preliminary rounds, Brunner and Lucena have not lost a set with an average score of 21-14 with each match lasting approximately 29 minutes.  Combined with their Main Draw mark for six-plus events this season, the Americans have a 29-11 match record.  Entering this week’s SWATCH Major Series event, Brunner and Lucena are ranked 10th on the FIVB World Tour.

Winning other qualifying matches Wednesday to advance to Thursday’s Main Draw in the US$800,000 Gstaad Major were the second-seeded Ingrosso twins (Matteo and Paolo) of Italy, third-seeded Ryan Doherty/John Mayer of the United States, fourth-seeded Michal Kadziola/Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland, fifth-seeded Christian Garcia/Francisco Marco of Spain, sixth-seeded Jackson Henriquez/Jesus Villafane of Venezuela, seventh-seeded Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen of Germany and ninth-seeded Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri of Italy.

Returning to the Swiss Alps village for the 16th-straight year, the Gstaad Major is the third of three SWATCH Major Series events that began with tournaments last month in Croatia (Porec) and Norway (Stavanger).  The men’s 32-team Main Draw features pool play Thursday and Friday followed by three rounds of elimination matches Saturday.  The semi-final and medal matches will be played Sunday where the winning team shares the $57,000 first-place prize.

Following the Gstaad Major, the FIVB World Tour takes a week off before resuming in the inaugural Yokohama Grand Slam July 21-26.  It will mark the first-time that both men and women have competed together in Japan in a FIVB World Tour event.  Seven FIVB men’s only events were held in Japan from 1989-1995, including a 1991 on stop in Yokohama.  A total of 14 women’s only events were held in Osaka from 1994-2005 and in 2008 and 2009.

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