Men’s FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam down to 16 teams
Corrientes, Argentina, May 24, 2013—Completing the last of three matches in round-robin pool play and the first round of single-elimination Friday, the men’s competition has been cut in half to 16 teams heading into Saturday’s at the $440,000 FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam double-gender tournament completed pool play. On Saturday, round of 16 and quarterfinals for the men’s competition will be held.
With the eight pool winners earning a bye until the round of 16 on Saturday morning, emerging from Friday’s first round of elimination matches between second and third-place teams in pool play were two teams each from Germany and the Netherlands and one each from Austria, Brazil, Switzerland and the United States.
Winning the eight pools earlier Friday to earn byes in the first elimination round were three teams from Brazil, two from Italy and one each from Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland. With the event being held for the first time in Corrientes, it continues through Sunday at the purpose-built site that is located on the sands of Arazati Beach – Costanera Sur.
The lighted stadium court has been built to seat 7,500 spectators. After playing one elimination round today, the men will play three more rounds Saturday with their last matches on Sunday. The women’s semifinals and medal matches will be held on Saturday as well with the men’s semifinals and medal matches closing the tournament on Sunday. Play will start at 9 a.m. Saturday local time and at 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday for the men’s final four matches.
Advancing to the Saturday’s second round after their first round victories on Friday are Austria’s Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, Brazil’s Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho, Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Germany’s Sebastian Dollinger/Stefan Windscheif, Netherlands’ Daan Spijkers/Christiaan Varenhorst, Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler/Jonas Weingart and USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson. They will now advance to meet the winners of the eight pools on Saturday morning.
From pool play, the five men’s teams advancing undefeated with 3-0 records to lead their respective groups were Brazilian duos Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves, Czech Republic’s Robert Kufa/Jan Hadrava, Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins and Poland’s Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek. With 2-1 pool marks, the three other men’s pool winners were Brazil’s Bruno Schmidt/Pedro Salgado, Italy’s Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo and Italian brothers Paolo Ingrosso/Matteo Ingrosso.
Friday’s pool play winners will now meet the first round winners Saturday morning.
Argentina had two teams advance from pool play, but both were defeated in the first elimination round. Germany’s Erdmann/ Matysik eliminated Argentina’s Pablo Bianchi/PabloSuarez in two sets and Netherland’s Spijkers/Varenhorst also won in two sets over Argentina’s Ian Mehamed/Julian Azaad. Both Argentinean times will receive 17th-place finishes in the tournament.
After his team’s win, Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann said, “We are very happy. In the past two tournaments we finished in 9th place after pool play so we are happy to keep moving forward in this position"
Erdmann’s teammate, Kay Matysik was also optimistic with their advancement victory, saying, “Last year was really good as we got a lot of fifth places but we want more, we want medals.”
USA’s Gibb/Patterson/Patterson, who won the season’s first FIVB Grand Slam in Shanghai earlier this month, rebounded from a pool play loss and came back to defeat Russia’s Konstanin Semenov/Yaroslav Koshkarev in three sets to stay alive in Corrientes.
Following the match, Patterson reflected, “We had a bad game yesterday so this match was good to refocus and play well again. We were very hungry to win. We are focused on our game plan and execute it well. We feel good. We're always prepared to play whomever we have to play. No one here is a bad team everyone is very good, so every match you must be playing your best.”
Both Brazil’s Felipe/Goncalves and Italy’s Ingrosso brothers advanced to pool play by each winning two qualification tournament matches on Wednesday. While they went from the qualifier to winning their pools, an FIVB record was set that for the first time all eight teams that advanced from the qualifier made it into the elimination rounds of an FIVB Grand Slam.
Brazil’s Felipe/Goncalves, who came through Wednesday’s qualification tournament with two wins and are in their rookie season on the FIVB World Tour, had two of the biggest seed breakthroughs on Thursday against higher seeded teams from their own country and Germany and followed that with a third upset Friday morning beating a team from Latvia. The 28th-seeded Brazilians started main draw play Thursday by knocking off 12th-seeded compatriots Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho and defeating Germany’s fifth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik.
On Friday morning Brazil’s Felipe/Goncalves earned their advancement with a remarkable one hour, eight-minute match where they defeated Latvia’s 21st-seeded Martins Plavins/Janis Peda in three grueling sets, 21-11, 19-21 and 29-27 in the tiebreaker. Winning the longest match in the tournament so far, they remained undefeated in Argentina with a 5-0 record. Their match was the longest in the tournament so far.
After missing the first two events on the 2013 FIVB calendar because of an injury to Alison, Brazil’s 2011 FIVB World Champions Alison/Emanuel appear to be quickly regaining their talented teamwork as the won three pool play matches in impressive style. They capped their pool play Friday morning by defeating USA’s Nick Lucena/Bradley Keenan 21-15, 21-15 in just 32 minutes.
Among the other teams advancing undefeated from pool play was Polish Olympians Prudel/Fijalek. With Poland hosting the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in July in Stare Jablonki, more intense focus is on the athletes from Poland as the host country and Prudel/Fijalek have displayed their ability to handle the pressure in Argentina with their three pool play wins. Winning all three matches so far in two sets each, the earned their first round bye this afternoon by holding off Netherlands’ Daan Spijkers/Christian Varenhorst, 27-25, 21-17 in 46 minutes.
Fijalek commented after this morning’s match, “We are concentrating on next game and trying to find our best game. This year we want to play very good in every event, and our big goal this year is FIVB World Championship which is in Poland.”
The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900. The women’s medal matches will be held on Saturday and the men’s medal matches on Sunday. The FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will be the 286th FIVB men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1989 and the 248th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.
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