Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, USA in women's semis in Gstaad
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 6, 2012—Starting the day with consistent rain drizzles that turned into a major rainstrom in the mid-afternoon, four productive women’s teams got down to serious business Friday, emerging from the fury of three elimination rounds on the Swiss sand and the encouragement of thousands of rain-soaked local fans that filled Gstaad stadium center court to advance to Saturday’s semifinals and medal matches at the double-gender $600,000 1to1 energy Grand Slam in Gstaad, Switzerland.
The 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour has continued in Gstaad as the world’s top tandems have returned to Switzerland as the double-gender event marks the 13th consecutive visit by the world tour with Gstaad hosting 11 men’s and 12 previous women’s events. Village Gstaad is nestled in a magnificent valley in Southwestern Switzerland at 3,440-feet (1,050 meters) above sea-level, the highest altitude a FIVB SWATCH World Tour stop is held annually.
GRAND GSTAAD GUARANTEES
SATURDAY SEMIFINAL SHOWDOWNS
After its loss in the quarterfinals, this will mark the first time in the 13-year history of this event that Brazil will not have at least one team in the women’s final four.
QUARTERFINAL BREAK DOWN
In an all-American quarterfinal USA’s May-Treanor/Walsh battled back to eliminate USA’s fourth-seeded Jennifer Kessy/April Ross, 14-21, 21-16 and 15-9 in 47 minutes; and Belgium’s Gielen/Mouha overcame Slovak Republic’s 22nd-seeded Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova, 27-25, 21-11 in 38 minutes.
In the head-to-head series between the quarterfinal teams on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour, Switzerland’s Kuhn/Zumkehr met Brazil’s Bednarczuk/Seixas for the first time, Netherland’s Keizer/Van Iersel improved to 2-3 against China’s Xue/Zhang, USA’s May-Treanor/Walsh now have a career FIVB edge over compatriots Kessy/Ross of 11-2 and Belgium’s Gielen/Mouha are now 2-0 against Slovak Republic’s Dubovcova/Nestarcova.
The losers of the quarterfinals all finish in fifth place and leave Switzerland with $13,200 in prize money per team.
THEY SAID IT
Winning another hard-fought three-set quarterfinal match, this one in front of thousands of home-country fans in the Gstaad stadium center court, Switzerland’s Zumkehr said after a rainy victory over Brazil, “This is a dream. We enjoy our home atmosphere with these fantastic spectators. Now I want to step onto the podium and win a cowbell”
Switzerland’s Kuhn said, “We started badly in the match and we turned it around in the second set. In the third set, we stayed cool and made the points. Now after this victory, we have an amazingly good feeling going into a semifinal in our own country in front of our own fans for the first time.”
Fighting through a tough all-American match that started with pouring rain and finished with sun breaking through the clouds to win in three sets, USA’s May-Treanor said after the match, “There was a rainbow at the end of the match following the big rainstorm after such a tough battle with Jen and April. That must have been a good sign for us, maybe there is a pot of gold hidden behind it for Kerri and me. We are now looking forward to playing against the hosts in the semifinals, this is what we want to help us improve.”
Belgium’s Gielen/Mouha, who are in their 17th career FIVB SWATCH World Tour event together and have made their first final four, and Netherlands’ Keizer/Van Iersel, playing in their 43rd career tournament and 12th final four, have met only once when the Dutch girls won at this year’s CEV European championship.
Switzerland’s Kuhn/Zumkehr are in their 42nd FIVB SWATCH World Tour event together and third final four and first in Gstaad, and USA’s May-Treanor/Walsh, playing in their 76th world tour event with their 62nd final four appearance as a team, have met five times before with the USA winning all of them, the most recent on May 10 in the Beijing Grand Slam.
ROUND OF 16 UPSETS
In Friday’s round of 16, the losing teams received ninth place finishes and each team split $8,000 in prize money.
FIVB SWATCH WORLD TOUR CALENDAR
A new team on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour, Brazil’s Bednarczuk/Seixas had met the legendary Juliana/Larissa five times in domestic events and the record between the two teams now stands at 3-3.
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