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Brazilians & Latvians pace men’s Huntington Beach Open field

 
Brazilian world champion Andre Loyola stretches for the Mikasa in Saturday's semifinal-qualifying win over an American pair at the Huntington Beach Open.
Huntington Beach, USA, May 5, 2018 - Reigning FIVB world champions Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola of Brazil and Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins remained undefeated in the $300,000 Huntington Beach Open here on Saturday to net the first two semifinals berths in this week’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour stop.


With their wins on Saturday, Evandro/Loyola and Samoilovs/Smedins waited for the winners of contenders' bracket matches where the second-seeded Brazilians will play the 12th-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain while the Latvians meet ninth-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in the Sunday morning semifinals.


Being staged on the courts north of the Pier in “Surf City USA”, the second-seeded Evandro and Loyola posted their fourth winners' bracket victory of the inaugural event with a 2-0 (27-25, 21-17) win in 45 minutes over 14th-seeded Theo Brunner/John Hyden of the United States. The Brazilians will be playing in their fifth international semifinal in 11 FIVB World Tour events together.

After posting their second and third wins on Friday over higher-seeded Olympic pairs from Brazil and the United States, Samoilovs and Smedins advanced to their 20th FIVB final four in 61 World Tour events together by defeating Gavira and Herrera of Spain 2-1 (12-21, 21-16, 15-12) in 41 minutes.

To gain their 19th FIVB semifinal appearance in 72 World Tour events, Brouwer and Meeuwsen played three matches on Saturday starting with wins over pairs from Poland and Latvia before advancing to the final four with a 2-0 (21-10, 21-17) victory in 29 minutes over Brunner and Hyden.

Gavira and Herrera rebounded from their setback to Samoilovs and Smedins to net their 22nd World Tour semifinal berth in 96 FIVB events with a 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 16-14) victory in 61 minutes over 13th-seeded qualifiers Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes/Vitor Felipe of Brazil.

The inaugural Huntington Beach Open concludes Sunday where the women’s and men’s semifinals and medal matches will be played with the winning teams netting the $20,000 first-place prizes. The second of two FIVB World Tour events in the United States this season, the Huntington Beach Open is a partnership between the FIVB and the United States’ premier beach volleyball tour - the AVP.

Also read:
Brazilian women in control at Huntington Beach


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