FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Gstaad MAJOR | 7 - 12 July 2015


Press release

Hangover, Part II

Canadians Chaim Schalk (left) and Ben Saxton post upset win Friday to win Pool A at the Gstaad Major

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 10, 2015 - The emotional and physical “hangover” continued here Friday at the US$800,000 Gstaad Major for the three teams that medaled at last week’s FIVB “senior” Beach Volleyball World Championships in The Netherlands as each lost their final pool play match in the third of three SWATCH Major Series events on the 2015 international calendar.

World champions and third-seeded Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil lost their chance for an elimination “bye” after dropping a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) Pool C-deciding decision in 40 minutes to 14th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel of Poland.  It was the first-time the two teams had met on the sand on the FIVB World Tour as the Poles forfeited a pool play match last season to Alison and Bruno in Stavanger, Norway.

Silver medal winners Reinder Nummerdor and Christian Varenhorst of The Netherlands posted Pool A wins over teams from Switzerland and the United States Thursday before the top-seeded team in the Gstaad Major dropped a 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) decision in 33 minutes to 16th-seeded Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada.  The win avenged the Canadians’ three-set quarter-final setback to Nummerdor and Varenhorst in the Porec Major last month in Croatia.

Bronze winners Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg of Brazil lost for the second-time in the competition as all three of their Gstaad Major matches were three-setters.  After losing Thursday to 18th-seeded Jason Binstock and Sam Schachter of Canada 2-1 (22-24, 26-24, 15-11) in 60 minutes, the second-seeded Brazilians dropped a 2-1 (18-21, 22-20, 15-13) decision in 51 minutes to 15th-seeded Alexander Walkenhorst and Stefan Windscheif of Germany.  Binstock and Schachter capture Pool C by also defeating the Germans Thursday.

Theo Brunner and Nick Lucena, the fourth-place finishers at the world championships, rebounded from a pool play setback to Nummerdor and Varenhorst Thursday to post a win over a Swiss pair Friday to tie the Dutch and Canadians in Pool A.  To break the three-way deadlock, Saxton and Schalk’s 21-15 second set win over Nummerdor and Varenhorst Friday earned the Canadians the group title by two points over Brunner and Lucena.

Brunner and Lucena opened play Thursday by defeating Saxton and Schalk of Canada 2-0 (21-19, 22-20) in 33 minutes before losing 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) in 31 minutes to Nummerdor and Varenhorst.  The Americans are now 4-1 this week with a pair of qualifying victories Wednesday to earn a spot in the Gstaad Major Main Draw.

Winning other groups Friday were fourth-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson of the United States (Pool D), 12th-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy (Pool E), sixth-seeded Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos of Brazil (Pool F), 10th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik of Germany (Pool G), and ninth-seeded Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria (Pool H).

Four of the five teams posted 3-0 records in winning their pool title.  Lupo and Nicolai posted a 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-13) win in 56 minutes over fifth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia (Pool E) to win Pool E.  The Italians, who placed third in Gstaad in 2012, have now won the last four FIVB World Tour meetings with Samoilovs and Smedins after losing to the Latvians in the first encounter between the two teams in 2013.

With the three wins by Emanuel and Ricardo in pool play, the legendary Brazilian pair has now posted a 28-5 record in Gstaad with this year’s event being their seventh together in the Swiss village.  Emanuel and Ricardo captured the 2005 and 2006 Gstaad gold medals, placed second in 2009 and third in 2004.  The Brazilians were also fourth in 2007 with Gstaad hosted the world championships.

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 Main Draw competition Saturday features three rounds of elimination matches.  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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