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Top-seeded Brazilians Avoid Qualifying Transavia Grand Slam Upset

Fernanda Alves (right) of Brazil leads her team to a victory Tuesday over the Nystrom twins of Finland

The Hague, The Netherlands, July 15, 2014 - Top-seeded Fernanda Alves and Taiana Lima “avoided” an upset bid by the Nystrom twins of Finland as the Brazilians led eight women’s teams in advancing here Tuesday to the Main Draw of the US$1-million Transavia Grand Slam presented by Bas Van de Goor Foundation.

With the Emilia and Erika Nystrom holding a 16-12 advantage in the second set of their match with the Brazilians after winning the first set 29-27, Fernanda’s hitting and blocking took over the match.  Fernanda and Lima won the second set 21-18 and captured the third and deciding set 15-13 to win the 58-minute match to secure a spot in Wednesday’s opening “money” rounds.

Fourth-seeded Lane Carico and Brittany Hochevar could not “avoid” the upset as the American pair was eliminated by a score of 2-1 (21-19, 17-21 and 15-13) in 48 minutes by 13th-seeded Yuanyuan Ma and Xinyi Xia China.  It was the second win Tuesday for the Chinese, who eliminated a team from Italy in their opening matches.

Unlike the men’s qualifier Tuesday where six of the eight teams advancing to the Transavia Grand Slam were “unexpected” due to seed-break-throughs led by pairs from The Netherlands and Italy, the Chinese upset of Carico and Hochevar was the only women’s break-through.

Also winning as expected Tuesday and advancing to the Main Draw in the 10th FIVB World Tour event for women this season were second-seeded Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug of Argentina, third-seeded Julia Grossner/Chantal Laboureur of Germany, fifth-seeded Alexandra Moiseeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva of Russia, sixth-seeded Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska Poland, seventh-seeded Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan and eighth-seeded Tanja Goricanec/Tanja Huberli of Switzerland.

The Transavia Grand Slam, a “prelude” to the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, will be played at three sites on Wednesday and Thursday where pool play matches will be held at The Hague Beach Stadium and the Scheveningen side courts along with competition in Amsterdam and Apeldoorn.

The Netherlands will have three teams competing in Wednesday’s opening pool play matches led by 2014 European Champions Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel.  Other host country women’s teams in the Main Draw of the Transavia Grand Slam are Rimke Braakman/Jantine van der Vlist and Sanne Keizer/Sophie van Gestel.

The action for the final three days of the competition will be solely at the Scheveningen courts where the medal matches will be played Sunday.  The final two teams in both gender’s competition with be competing for the gold medals and a share of the $70,000 first-place prize for each winning team.

Following this week’s event, the FIVB World Tour returns to the United States for the second-straight year as Long Beach in southern California hosts another $1-million event.  The international circuit returns to European in August for stops in Austria (Klagenfurt, July 29-August 3) and Poland (Stare Jablonki, August 19-24).

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