Brazil, Germany, Italy, USA in women’s semis at 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.
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.
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
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
17th PLACE FINISHERS
São Paulo PURSE
FIVB WORLD TOUR
OTHER BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS