FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Xiamen Open 2016 | 12 - 17 April 2016

#XiamenOpen


Press release

Walsh/Ross, Xue/Xia off to winning start at Xiamen Open




Xiamen, China, April 14, 2016 – Top seeds Kerri Walsh and April Ross of the United States and home medal contenders Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi both posted a pair of straight set wins here on Thursday in the women’s Main Draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open here on Thursday.

After sweeping Russia’s 32th seeds Anastasia Barsuk/Alexandra Moiseeva 2-0 (21-13, 21-7) in their opening pool A match in the morning, 2013 Xiamen Open winners Walsh/Ross met tough challenge from Slovakia’s 17th seeds Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova in their second round play in the afternoon. Trailing most of the way in the second set, the American star duo had to erase a three-point deficit twice to record the 2-0 (21-17, 22-10) victory.

“We were down all the game through and I think we made too many mistakes,” said Walsh. “But we stuck with it, and April made great defensive plays and I think we got them a little bit uncomfortable with our serving, which helped us make more defensive plays. So it’s good to get back in the end.”

Walsh/Ross will seek their third consecutive FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medal of the season. Walsh Jennings, who had claimed three straight Olympic gold medals with Misty May-Treanor, got off to a flying start in 2016 with her new partner April Ross, finishing first and second respectively in the Rio Grand Slam and Vitoria Open in Brazil.

“That’s a great start! The plan is to win seven matches in a row here in Xiamen!” Walsh said with a smile. “That’s the goal, not the plan.”

Walsh was looking forward to her first Olympic Games with Ross. “I am so excited. Every single day with April was so fun and we were growing and extending our game and partnership. We are on the right track. We have so much more room for improvement and we are determined to be the best in the world. We are on it.”


Two weeks after capturing the gold medal at the Asian Beach Volleyball Championship in Australia, Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Xue Chen and her young teammate Xia Xinyi also got off to a winning start in Xiamen with victories over Russia’s Olga Motrich/Nadezda Makroguzova and Nina Betschart/Tanja Hüberli of Switzerland. In the morning, Xue/Xia came back from 6-2 down in the second set to beat the Russian duo 2-0 (21-13, 21-18).

“We have had more than a week of break after going back from Australia. I have told my partner we need to get well prepared(for Xiamen Open). I am happy that we have done that and that’s why we could come back to seal a straight set win today,” said Xue Chen.

Second seeds Karla Borger/Britta Büthe of Germany, fifth seeds Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Vergé-Dépré and seventh seeds Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr from Switzerland also collected a pair of win in respective pools while third seeds Brooke Sweat/Lauren Fendrick of USA, fourth seeds Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy and sixth seeds Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug of Argentina suffered one loss each on the first day of round robin pool play.


Qualifiers Isabel Schneider and Teresa Mersmann won an all-German match against Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler 2-1 (22-20, 17-21, 15-10) before hammering Gallay/Klug 2-0 (21-10, 26-24) for the top place in pool F after two rounds of play.

Thirty-two teams were playing round robin in eight groups with top three finishers from each pool to qualify for the knock-out stage.

The 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the 2015/2016 calendar will include multiple FIVB Open and multiple FIVB Grand Slam events along with more Swatch FIVB Major Series events, and the second Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The highlight of the calendar will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil featuring 24 teams in each gender.

The event continues the road to Rio that lasts until June 13, 2016 with FIVB World Tour events counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine the 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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