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Gstaad Gossip - Gentlemen’s Golden Game

Bruno Oscar Schmidt (left) and Alison Cerutti celebrate a Brazilian win

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 12, 2014 - As a prelude to the next edition of the "Talkin' Stats" weekly update, here are facts and figures from this week's men's competition at the US$800,000 Gstaad Grand Slam where three rounds of men’s matches were played here Saturday to set the schedule for Sunday's medal matches.

• 59th TIME - Brazil and the United States, two of the Beach Volleyball powers, will meet for the 59th-time for a FIVB World Tour gold medal with both countries winning 29 times.  The United States won the last title meeting to deadlock the head-to-head series when Americans Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal defeated Alvaro Filho and Ricardo Santos for the Stavanger gold medal two weeks ago in the Norwegian port city.
• SUNDAY’S SERVICE – The 2014 Gstaad men’s gold medal match will be the second meeting this season between the two teams with Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt defeating Dalhausser and Rosenthal 2-1 (15-21, 21-17 and 15-12) in a 55-minute elimination match at the start of May in Fuzhou, China.
• NO. 8 - The Gstaad Grand Slam is the eighth men’s event on the 2014 FIVB World Tour where the Swiss Alps village is hosting the season's fifth Grand Slam events.  In addition to the $57,000 first-place purse, the winning men's team will earn 800 points while the silver medal pair will share $43,000 and 720 points.  The bronze medal match winner will split $32,000 and 640 points while the fourth-place finishers will share $24,000 and 560 points.

2014 FIVB World Tour Men’s Dates, Site, Type, Gold Medal Team
1. April 22-26, Fuzhou, China, Open, Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy
2. April 29-May 3, Shanghai, China, Grand Slam, Lupo/Nicolai, Italy
3. May 6-10, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Open, Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Latvia
4. May 28-June 1, Anapa, Russia, Open, Martins Plavins/Aleksandrs Solovejs, Latvia
5. June 11-15, Moscow, Russia, Grand Slam, Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov, Russia
6. June 17-22, Berlin, Germany, Grand Slam, Tri Bourne/John Hyden, United States
7. June 24-28, Stavanger, Norway, Grand Slam, Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal, United States
8. July 8-13, Gstaad, Switzerland, Grand Slam, USA or Brazil (Dalhausser/Rosenthal vs. Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt)

• BY COUNTRY - Only one country in the Gstaad Grand Slam “final four” has won gold medals this season on the FIVB World Tour - United States (Berlin and Stavanger).  Italy (Fuzhou and Shanghai) and Latvia (Puerto Vallarta and Anapa) each won two gold medals with a Russian pair capturing the Moscow crown.
• GSTAAD MEDALS - Since the start of the men’s FIVB World Tour event in the Swiss Alps in 2001, Brazil will be seeking its seventh Gstaad gold medal while the Americans will be pursuing No. 5.  Brazilian men teams have now combined for 26 “final fours” appearances.  The South Americans have now amassed 19 podium placements entering Sunday’s play with six gold medal finishes (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2013) along with six silvers and six bronze medals.  The United States has now advanced 10 total teams to the Gstaad semi-finals with at least eight podium placements entering play Sunday.  The USA won gold medals in 2001, 2007 (world championships), 2010 and 2012 with one silver and two bronze medals.


SEEKING TWO-STRAIGHT - Dalhausser and Rosenthal will be seeking their second-straight FIVB World Tour title after the top-seeded Americans posted their second-straight win this week in the Gstaad Grand Slam over 16th-seeded compatriots Ryan Doherty and Nick Lucena by a 2-1 (15-21, 21-17and 15-13) 50) score in 50 minutes.  Earlier Saturday, Dalhausser and Rosenthal posted wins over pairs from Austria and Brazil to advance to their third “final four” together this season and their sixth in 14 FIVB World Tour starts together.  With five of their six match victories this week in two sets, Dalhausser and Rosenthal are now 27-6 this season with 12-straight wins.  Dalhausser, who was born in Switzerland, is appearing in Gstaad for the eighth-time.  He won the 2007 (FIVB World Championships) and 2010 Gstaad titles with Todd Rogers as the pair placed second in 2011 after losing the finale to Alison and Emanuel Rego of Brazil.  Rosenthal is also appearing in Gstaad for the eighth time and won the 2012 event with Jake Gibb.

SEEKING FIRST BRAZILIAN GOLD - Fourth-seeded Alison and Bruno will be seeking to become the first men’s team from Brazil to win a 2014 FIVB World Tour event as the South Americans advanced to the finals with a 2-0 (21-15 and 21-19) semi-final win over 12th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik of Germany in 38 minutes.  Earlier in the day, the Brazilians eliminated pairs from Poland and Austria from the competition.  After qualifying for the “money” rounds Wednesday with a victory over a team from The Netherlands, Alison and Bruno dropped their first pool play match Thursday to a team from Mexico before rebounding to win five-straight matches to improve their season record to 28-9.  Competing together for the first-time this season, Alison and Bruno are playing in their sixth event this season with a second in the season opener in Fuzhou and a third last month in Berlin.  Alison is appearing in his seventh Gstaad event with a 2011 gold and 2012 silver medals with Emanuel Rego.  Bruno is also appearing in his seventh Gstaad stop with a silver medal last season with Pedro Salgado.


QUALIFYING AGAIN - For the second-time this season, Lucena and Doherty advanced to a FIVB World Tour “final four” after starting an international event by playing in the qualification tournament to earn a spot in the “money” rounds.  After defeating teams from Canada and Brazil, Lucena and Doherty failed to advance to their second FIVB World Tour gold medal match this season by losing to Dalhausser and Rosenthal in the semi-finals Saturday.  Lucena and Doherty have an 18-12 match mark this season with a silver medal finish in Berlin where they lost to compatriots Tri Bourne and John Hyden in the finals.  With an appearance in the medal rounds this week, Lucena and Doherty are guaranteed their best Gstaad finish.  Lucena had posted two fifths in five previous Gstaad events while Doherty was 17th in 2013 with Todd Rogers.

JUST MISSED BEING NO. 3- Erdmann and Matysik missed being the third German team to play for a gold medal Sunday after dropping their semi-final match to Alison and Bruno.  In the women’s semi-finals, two German pairs won their matches against teams from the Czech Republic and advance to finals.  After winning all three of their pool play matches Thursday and Friday, Erdmann and Matysik posted victories over pair from Kazakhstan and The Netherlands to advance to their second “final four” this season and fourth in 54 FIVB World Tour starts together.  The Germans, who have a 19-7 match mark this season, were third earlier this year at May’s Grand Slam stop in Shanghai.  With a guaranteed fourth, both Erdmann (sixth Gstaad) and Matysik (ninth) are assured of their best finish in the Swiss Alps village.

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