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Talking Stats: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Argentina's Georgina Klug digs the Mikasa out of Fuzhou sand last week as she and teammate Ana Gallay matched their country's best women's FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour finish with a fifth-place finish heading into the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam.
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 28, 2014 - Statistically speaking, the world’s best beach volleyball players will give fans and developing players worldwide plenty to talk about as the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) continues to launch the second year of the next Olympic cycle with its 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. This week, the FIVB World Tour remains in China following the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open to this week’s double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam.

Here are some ‘juicy morsels’ to chew on around the net heading to this week’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour stop in Shanghai:

•    Italy finally wins – Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai won Italy’s first ever World Tour gold medal for either gender.  There had been 746 men’s teams entered in 279 events and 556 women’s teams in 238 events (this is only counting events where Italy entered).  Italy had 18 previous men’s silver medals and 13 previous women’s silver medals, including two for Lupo/Nicolai (Beijing 2012, Fuzhou 2013).  The last country to win their first FIVB World Tour gold medal was Latvia when Martin Plavins/Janis Smedins won in Stare Jablonki in August of 2012.

•    None of the top four men’s seeds made the semi-finals.  This is only the seventh time this has happened for the men on the FIVB World Tour.  It happened two times in 2013 with no seed higher than ninth making the semis at the FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam and no seed higher than 12th at the FIVB Berlin Grand Slam.  Before 2013, it hadn’t happened since the FIVB Kristiansand Open in August of 2008.

•    Qatar received a wild card entry into the Men’s FIVB Fuzhou Open for the first-ever main draw appearance for that country.  In eight previous attempts, no team from Qatar had won a match.

•    Canada had two men’s teams make it through the qualifier into the main draw.  This continues their success from 2013 when that happened three times (São Paulo, The Hague, and Shanghai).

•    Battle for No. 1 – Kerri Walsh Jennings passed Larissa Franca for the all-time lead in women’s FIVB World Tour victories with 47.  Juliana is just two behind at 45 (plus one age group WC).  Walsh has won with four different partners in 90 events (Misty-May Treanor (40), April Ross (3), Nicole Branagh (2), and Rachel Wacholder Scott (2)) while Juliana has won all her titles with Larissa Franca in 111 total events.

•    Qualifier team wins silver medal – Juliana/Antonelli became the 13th women’s team to make the finals after coming through the qualifying tournament.  As the ninth seed, only one of those teams had a lower qualifying seed, USA’s Jennifer Kessy/April Ross when they won the FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam in 2007 as the 21st seed.  The Brazilian duo also had the 30th seed in the main draw.  The only lower women’s seed to make the finals was Germany’s Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler who won the silver at the FIVB Beijing Grand Slam in 2011 as the 31st seed.

•    While Juliana/Antonelli was having success, the other qualifying teams were not.  Only three qualifying teams advanced from pool play into the elimination rounds.  This has only happened five times since 2012 (Rome 2013, Beijing 2012, Rome 2012, and Gstaad 2012).  Only twice before have less than three teams advanced, with only two advancing in Moscow 2008 and Maoming 2002.

•    China placed two women’s teams in the top five.  This is only the second time this has happened since 2008 (Phuket 2013).  China placed three teams in the top five twice, Shanghai 2006 and Aland 2007.

•    Olympians Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug of Argentina matched their country’s best women’s FIVB World Tour finish with a fifth in Fuzhou.  The pair also finished fifth last season in Phuket.

•    Statistically, in men’s action last week in Fuzhou, Brazil’s Alison/Schmidt and Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai were both 6-1 (85.7%) in the FIVB Fuzhou Open, Canada’s Sam Pedlow/Grant O’Gorman was 5-1 (83.3%), while Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Pedro Salgado and compatriots Alvaro Filho/Ricardo Santos were both 4-1 (80%).

•    For the women in Fuzhou, USA’s Walsh Jennings/A. Ross were a perfect 100 percent 7-0 to start the season while Brazil’s Juliana/Antonelli were 6-2 (80%) and China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue were 4-1 (80%).

FIVB 2014
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar features a record purse of US$10.2 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 21 venues in 18 countries.  This year’s FIVB World Tour includes a record 10 FIVB Grand Slam events, the inaugural Grand Slam Finale and 11 FIVB Open Tournaments throughout the world, helping expand the door for development of the sport even further.

The 10 FIVB Grand Slam competitions, all double-gender, have eight with $800,000 in total purses while both The Hague, Netherlands and the Long Beach, Calif., USA event will have $1 million each in prize money, the most in FIVB Grand Slam history.

The 11 FIVB Open tournaments in 2014, seven double-gender, two men only and two women only, will have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.

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