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FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS

Brazil, Germany, Italy, USA in women’s semis at FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam

 
Germany's Laura Ludwig, above, and teammate Kira Walkenhorst, defeated two other German teams Thursiday to advance to Friday's semifinals against Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk/Maria Antonelli at the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.

São Paulo, Brazil, October 11, 2013 – Surviving three rounds of the world’s best competition Friday, women’s teams from four countries have advanced to the semifinals and medal rounds at the $440,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam double-gender tournament. Marking the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour’s return to Brazil for the 27th consecutive year, meeting in Saturday morning’s semifinals will be teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy and the United States.

With the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resuming in South America this week after a six-week hiatus, Saturday’s schedule includes the semifinals and bronze medal matches in each gender. The gold medal matches in each gender of the ninth 2013 FIVB Grand Slam event will be played Sunday morning. 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.

Earning spots among the final four teams in the tournament are Brazil’s seventh-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Maria Antonelli, Germany’s fifth-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Italy’s 21st-seeded Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth and USA’s 10th-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings.

QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
Brazil’s Bednarczuk/Antonelli came back and held on to slip past Switzerland’s 22nd-seeded Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre, 19-21, 21-11, 16-14 in 50 minutes and Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst won in two sets over fourth-seeded compatriots Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, 21-17, 21-13 in 34 minutes in the first two women’s semifinals Friday.

In the second two semis, Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth surprised Brazil’s second-seeded sisters Maria Clara Salgado/Carolina Salgado, 21-19, 21-19 in 38 minutes and in the final women’s semifinal of the day USA’s Ross/Walsh Jennings held off 15th-seeded compatriots Lauren Fendrick/Brittany Hochevar in an all-American battle in two sets, 22-20, 21-19 in 40 minutes.

After their losses in the quarterfinals early Friday evening, Switzerland’s Forrer/Verge-Depre, Germany’s Holtwick/Semmler, Brazil’s Salgado sisters and USA’s Fendrick/Hochevar will leave São Paulo with official fifth-place finishes and $10,000 per team in prize money.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS
After their quarterfinal victories, meeting in Saturday morning’s semifinals will be Brazil’s Bednarczuk/Antonelli vs. Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst followed by USA’s Ross/Walsh Jennings battling Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth.

Now 5-0 after winning two matches on Friday Ross/Walsh Jennings is USA’s newest team. The Olympic duo is playing in just their second FIVB World Tour Grand Slam event after Olympic careers with different teammates. Walsh Jennings has three career Olympic gold medals and Ross won the silver medal last year at the 2012 London Olympics.  Ross/Walsh Jennings, who both admit they have a long way to go as a team but are very, very pleased with their results so far in São Paulo.

Walsh commented on her team’s play so far in the tournament, “We have played well, but we can and will play a lot better. We helped each other a lot today and it showed in the results of the match.  We were glad we didn’t have to play three sets in our last match, not because we were tired, but because we want to have some more power for tomorrow.  I am so excited to be back in action on the FIVB World Tour and to have my husband (Casey Jennings) makes this week even more special to me and my family.”

After defeating her second straight compatriot team Thursday, Germany’s Ludwig said, “I’m really, really happy that we beat the Germans, both of them. It is always special when you beat some teams from your own country. It was fun, we played really well. We put a lot of pressure on them. Now against the Brazilians, it will be definitely fun on the center court. It will be Saturday, so I think a lot of people will be there. I can’t wait to play it.”

ROUND OF 16 UPSET STUNNERS
Topped by the Round of 16 upset which saw Switzerland’s Forrer/Verge-Depre stun Brazil’s top-seeded Taiana Lima/Talita Antunes, four of the eight matches in the round went three sets and four lower seeds moved into Friday evening’s quarterfinals. Switzerland’s Forrer/Verge-Depre came out strong winning the 51-minute match, 22-20, 14-21, 15-12 to stop Brazil’s Lima/Antunes from winning the gold medal in front of their home country fans and pick up a sixth gold medal on the 2013 FIVB World Tour.

In three other seed break-through matches, USA’s Ross/Walsh Jennings came from behind to upset Brazil’s third-seeded Barbara Seixas/Liliana Maestrini, 17-21, 21-11, 15-8, in 48 minutes and Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth hung on to overcome Czech Republic’s 14th-seeded Marketa Slukova/Kristyna Kolocova, 21-19, 19-21, 15-11 in 53 minutes. In a closer-seeded upset between two teams from the United States, USA’s Fendrick/Hochevar defeated USA’s 12th-seeded Jennifer Fopma/Brooke Sweat, 21-18, 21-17 in 35 minutes.

GOING HOME NINTH
After their losses in the Round of 16 mid-day on Friday, leaving São Paulo with official ninth-place finishes are: Brazil’s Lima/Antunes, Netherlands’ eighth-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel, Germany’s sixth-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Buthe, Slovak Republic’s 16th-seeded Dominika Nestarcova/Natalia Dubovcova, Brazil’s Seixas/Maestrini, Czech Republic’s Slukova/Kolocova, Canada’s 27th-seeded Jamie Lynn Broder/Kristina Valjas and USA’s Fopma/Sweat.

17th PLACE FINISHERS
With their losses in the Round of 24 Friday morning, leaving São Paulo with official 17th-place finishes are: Argentina’s 24th-seeded Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug, USA’s 18th-seeded Emily Day/Summer Ross, Netherlands’ 13th-seeded Marleen Van Iersel/Sanne Keizer, Netherland’s 26th-seeded Rimke Braakman/Jantine van der Vlist, Australia’s 17th-seeded Taliqua Clancy/Louise Bawden, Germany’s 20th-seeded Julia Grossner/Victoria Bieneck, Spain’s ninth-seeded Liliana Fernandez/Elsa Baquerizo and Russia’s 19th-seeded Maria Prokopeva/Evgenia Ukolova. The first round of the final 24 teams saw the second and third place teams from the eight pools face off.

São Paulo PURSE
This year’s FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam will have the semifinals and bronze medal matches for both genders on Saturday and the gold medal matches for both 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.

BRAZILIAN HISTORY
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.

FIVB WORLD TOUR
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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