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Men’s field reduced to 24 at FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam

Latvia's Aleksandrs Samoilovs, right, passes the Mikasa to Janis Smedins as the third-seeded team won all three of their pool play matches to advance to Friday's start of single elimination play at the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.

São Paulo, Brazil, October 10, 2013 – Two teams from Germany along with one each from Brazil, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Russia and the United States won their pools Thursday as the field has been reduced to 24 from the 32-team men’s main draw for the Friday’s start of single-elimination rounds at the $440,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam double-gender tournament. With the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour back in Brazil for the 27th consecutive year, the eight pool winners will receive a bye into Friday afternoon’s round of 24.

Each receiving a bye into the round of 16, the eight men’s pool winners who emerged from Thursday’s two match victories were: Germany’s 16th-seeded Sebastian Dollinger/Lars Fluggen, Brazil’s second-seeded Pedro Salgado/Bruno Schmidt, Latvia’s third-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, USA’s fourth-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Russia’s 12th-seeded Konstantin Semenov/Yaroslav Koshkarev, Italy’s 27th-seeded Alex Ranghieri/Andrea Tomatis, Brazil’s seventh-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego and Germany’s ninth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik.

The 24 teams in each gender who advanced from pool play from the 32-team main draws in each gender will now move into Friday’s start of single elimination play. For the women on Thursday, all eight pool winners were undefeated at 3-0 as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumed in South America this week. Friday will see the round of 24, round of 16 and quarterfinal matches in each gender as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has resumed in South America after a six-week respite. With the event being held for the first time in São Paulo the purpose-built site is located on the expansive grounds of Parque Villa Lobos on the west side of the massive city.

With intense competition resulting in 15 three-set matches out of the 48 pool play matches, five teams won their respective pools with unblemished 3-0 records: Germany’s Dollinger/Fluggen, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt, Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins, USA’s Gibb/Patterson and Russia’s Semenov/Koshkarev.

Following Thursday’s conclusion of pool play, Friday will see the round of 24, round of 16 and quarterfinal matches in each gender as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has resumed in South America after a six-week respite. With the event being held for the first time in São Paulo the purpose-built site is located on the expansive grounds of Parque Villa Lobos on the west side of the massive city.

Brazil had one team in each gender advance from Tuesday’s qualifiers and the home country had its full allotment of five teams in each gender in the São Paulo main draw pool play. For the men, the qualification team that advanced to the main draw was Brazil’s 28th-seeded Thiago Santos/Oscar Brandao. Overall, the Brazilian men’s teams ended pool play with a 9-6 record. Besides the pool-winning Salgado/Schmidt (3-0), also advancing to the elimination rounds for Brazil are top-seeded Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho (2-1), seventh-seeded Alison/Emanuel (2-1) and Santos/Brandao (1-2). The only Brazilian men’s team not advancing was eighth-seeded Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves (1-2).

Keeping pace in the hunt for the 2013 FIVB World Tour/FIVB Open point title and the top spot in the FIVB World Rankings, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt and Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins were both 3-0 in pool play and 6-1 in their set record in their first three matches in the tournament.

Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt’s two win’s Thursday were over USA’s 18th-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Casey Jennings, 21-12, 19-21, 15-12 in 58 minutes and over Austria’s 15th-seeded Lorenz Petutschnig/Alexander Horst, 21-15, 21-16 in 35 minutes.

Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedin matched the Brazilians by defeating Poland’s 19th-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, 21-18, 21-13 in 33 minutes and were pushed to three sets before beating Kazakhstan’s 14th-seeded Alexey Sidorenko/Alexandr Dyachenko, 16-21, 21-16, 15-10 in 52 minutes.

Currently leading the FIVB World Rankings over Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt, Latvia’s Smedins said Thursday between matches, “For us it will be very hard, because the Brazilians have played their National Tour and now they are playing at home and the World Tour has been on a break. I think they will play at 150% because of the fans. For us, it will be really tough. We’re looking for the first place and we’ll give our best. It depends how we’ll play. If we play as we did during all the season, it is possible. We’ve not been playing for six weeks.”

The United States had three men’s team advance to the elimination rounds. In addition to Gibb/Patterson, also advancing for Team USA are 20th-seeded Nick Lucena/Ryan Doherty (2-1) and Dalhausser/Jennings (2-1). Both teams are new as both Doherty and Dalhausser had their regular teammates for this season withdraw from the tournament.

This year’s FIVB World Tour Grand Slams use a pool format. São Paulo began with a one-day qualification tournament on Tuesday to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play where pools of four played three matches each over two days with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams (the top three from each pool) concluding semifinals and bronze medal matches on Saturday and the gold medal matches for both genders on Sunday. The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900.

The FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam marks the 35th time that Brazil has hosted a men’s and 30th time Brazil has hosted a women’s FIVB international beach volleyball world tour event. Brazil has staged a FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event every year since the start of the international circuit for men in 1987 and women in 1992. It is also the 295th FIVB World Tour men’s tournament and 257th women’s tournament.

The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Not part of the World Tour but counting towards FIVB points/earnings are five Open events (four double-gender tournaments and one women-only). The last of 10 FIVB World Tour Grand Slams will be the 2013 Grand Slam schedule will now end in China Oct. 22-27 at the double-gender $440,000 FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam.

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