FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Puerto Vallarta Open | 6 - 11 October 2015

#PuertoVallartaOp


Press release

Eight teams earn men’s main draw spots at FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open


Austria's Florian Schnetzer, right, kills the Mikasa Tuesday against compatriot Jorg Wutzl as Schnetzer and Helmut Moser won that qualifying match and also defeated USA's top-seed to advance to the main draw at the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open in Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, October 6, 2015 — Led by two teams each from Austria and Brazil, eight men’s teams from six countries completed two rounds of a qualification tournament to complete the field for Wednesday’s start of the men’s 32-team main draw at the $150,000 FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, the season opening event on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

The double-gender event, the first of three tournaments on the 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour schedule, is being held through Sunday at the purpose-built event site on Playa Camarones.

In addition to Austria and Brazil, other countries who advanced teams into Wednesday’s start of round-robin pool play for eight groups of four teams each, were Canada, Germany, Israel and Venezuela.

Back in Puerto Vallarta for the second straight year, the FIVB World Tour is visiting Mexico for the sixth time for men and the sixth time for women, starting the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open will be 49 men’s teams from 20 countries along with 45 women’s teams from 21 countries.

PUERTO VALLARTA’S ADVANCING QUALIFIERS
The eight teams who advanced from Tuesday’s qualification tournament were Austria’s eighth-seeded qualification team of Thomas Kunert/Christoph Dressler, Austria’s No. 16 Helmut Moser/Florian Schnetzer, Brazil’s No. 10 Pedro Cunha/Allison Francioni, Brazil’s No. 15 Vinicius Freitas/Andre Stein, Canada’s No. 5 Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow, Israel’s No. 6 Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman, Germany’s No. 3 twin brothers Bennet Poniewaz/David Poniewaz and Venezuela’s No. 13 Igor Hernandez/Leonard Colina.  

Lower seeded teams in the qualifier, Austria’s Moser/Schnetzer, Brazil’s Freitas/Stein and Venezuela’s I. Hernandez/Colina each had two win two matches while the other teams advanced winning one final match each after having a bye in the first round.

PUERTO VALLARTA SCHEDULE
The FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open started Tuesday with a qualification tournament for men on and the women’s on Wednesday to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team main draw followed by two days of round robin pool play for each gender. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds. Men’s pool play will be held Wednesday, Thursday along with the round of 16 and the men’s quarterfinals. On Saturday will be the men’s semifinals and men’s medal matches on Sunday.

The women’s pool play matches will be played on Thursday and Friday with the first round of eliminations on Friday as well. The women’s quarterfinals and semifinals will be held on Saturday and the event will conclude with the women’s medal matches on Sunday.

UPSETS BY THE BAY
Bahia de Banderas saw four of the top eight-seeded qualification teams eliminated including three of the top four.  The biggest surprise of the day came when Austria’s Moser/Schnetzer upset USA’s top-seeded Ryan Doherty/John Mayer in straight sets, 21-16, 21-19.  

Playing in just their first FIVB World Tour event as a team, the Austria’s youthful 16th-seeded Moser/Schnetzer opened qualifying by coming from behind to defeat 17th-seeded compatriots Simon Fruhbauer/Jorg Wutzl in three grueling sets, 19-21, 21-19 and 17-15 in the tiebreaker in 60 minutes, the second-longest match of the day.

In the other biggest seed-breakthrough in the men’s qualification tournament, Brazil’s 15th-seeded Freitas/Stein held off Austria’s second-seeded Robin Seidel/Alexander Huber, winning in three sets, 21-16, 17-21 and 15-12 in 50 minutes.  In the first round, the Brazilians got their big day going with a three-set victory over Venezuela’s 18th-seeded Ronald Rayola/Jose Gomez, 24-22, 21-23 and 15-9 in 70 minutes, the longest match of the tournament so far.

AUSTRIAN COMMENT
Following his team’s successful first day in their first FIVB World Tour event, Schnetzer, 26, commented after defeating the much more experienced Americans, who are 31 (Doherty) and 33 (Mayer,  "We had two great matches today that have taken us to play tomorrow in the Main Draw. Our strategy was the defense throughout both matches, point by point. Last year I came here and didn't get out of the qualifier, but this year is Helmut's first time here and I have a really good feeling. Right now I can't contain my excitement of winning against number one ranked team. We played hard and smart and were able to stop two very tough, experienced teams."

TEAM MEXICO
As the host nation for the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, Mexico has three men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two more teams in the qualification tournament. Mexico’s main draw teams are 24th-seeded Juan Virgen/Ulises Ontiveros, 30th-seeded Joe Rubio/Josue Gaxiola and 32nd-seeded Ricardo Galindo/Juan Revuelta. Men’s teams in the qualifier from Mexico were, Raymond Stephens/Miguel Sarabia and Elvis Perez/Edwin Valencia. The two qualifying teams were eliminated in the first round.

As the host nation, Mexico has three women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and three teams in the women’s qualification tournament. Mexico’s main draw teams are provisional 22nd-seeded Bibiana Candelas/Ana Rios, 23rd-seeded Stephanie Burnside/Zaira Orellana and 24th-seeded Claudia Rios/Gloria Santoyo. Women’s teams in the qualifier from Mexico are Elsa Almaguer/Karen Valencia, Freda Lopez/Paulette Cruz and Rubi Sandoval/Haydee Lopez.

TOP SEEDS
For the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, top men’s seeds are Netherlands’ top-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, USA’s second-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Netherland’s third-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, and USA’s fourth-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena and Italy’s fifth-seeded Alex Ranghieri/Adrian Carambula.

For the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, preliminary top women’s seeds are Germany’s top-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany’s No. 2 Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, Switzerland’s No. 3 Isabelle Forrer/Aouk Verge-Depre, Italy’s No. 4 Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth and Russia’s No. 5 Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova.

FIVB PUERTO VALLARTA OPEN PURSE
The gold medal team in each gender at the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open will split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.

GROWING HISTORY
The FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open is the 330th men’s event since the FIVB began men’s competition in 1987 and the 294th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.

VIVA MEXICO
Puerto Vallarta is one of three cities to host an international FIVB beach volleyball event. Others have been Acapulco and Rosarito Beach.

Prior to last year’s Puerto Vallarta event, Acapulco had FIVB World Tour events in 1999, 2005 and 2006 and Rosarito Beach hosted a FIVB World Tour stop in 2000. In 2014, Acapulco returned to the FIVB international calendar, hosting the inaugural 17U FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, one of four age-group world championships held every other year by the FIVB.

Last year’s gold medal winners in the inaugural FIVB World Tour event in Puerto Vallarta were Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins for the men and Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas for the women.

In the first five FIVB World Tour events held in Mexico, Brazil and the United States have earned 23 of the 30 total medals.

Brazil leads the way in FIVB World Tour stops in Mexico, winning 13 total medals (five gold medals, five silvers and three bronze) followed by the USA with 10 total medals (four gold, three silver and three bronze).

By gender, Brazil has won seven men’s medals followed by the USA with five and with one each men’s medal in Mexico are Italy, Latvia and Mexico. Brazil has won six women’s medals followed by the USA with five, Australia with two and with one women’s medal each in Mexico have been duos from China and Norway.

ON THE HORIZON
After the season-opening event in Puerto Vallarta, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, with placement points counting in the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, continues with the two remaining 2016 FIVB World Tour events on the 2015 portion of the schedule. The first will be the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (Oct. 20-25) and the final event in 2015 will be the men’s only $75,000 FIVB Doha Open in Qatar (Nov. 9-13).

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