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Old and new faces revel in Stavanger glory as Tour heads to Gstaad

The Stavanger medallists will reconvene at the Gstaad Grand Slam in just over one week's time
Stavanger, Norway, June 29, 2014 – It was a mix of the old and the new among the Stavanger Grand Slam medallists as the tournament drew to a close with the men’s medal matches on Sunday.

Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won their first gold medals of the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, to ensure a double USA celebration after April Ross and Kerri Walsh won the women’s title 24 hours previously. 

Spain’s Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo continued their progression as a team by winning women’s silver, while the ageless Ricardo Santos rolled back the years alongside the fresh-faced Alvaro Filho to win silver and return towards the form that earned them the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships silver and Gstaad Grand Slam gold. 

The bronze medals went to Slovakia’s Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova and Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson, the best ever results for both teams.  

For Gabathuler and Gerson their success holds greater relevance with the next World Tour Grand Slam taking place in Gstaad in just over a week, where their compatriots will hope for a similar result in the Swiss Alps. 

“The last few weeks have been going so well,” Gabathuler said. “We were dreaming about what has happened for such a long time and we’ve been working so hard for it.
Dalhausser and Rosenthal open golden account for 2014

Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won their first gold medals of the World Tour when they defeated Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho in the Stavanger Grand Slam gold medal match on Sunday. 

In a match that pitted 2004 Olympic champion Ricardo against 2008 Olympic champion Dalhausser, the USA pair ended victorious against the Brazilians with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) win that also earned them a pair of much-coveted Viking swords. 

The first seeds were in strong form throughout the week and dropped only one set in their seven matches.

“It feels amazing for Phil and me to get a first win this year and it feels like we are getting better and better,” Rosenthal said. “We had a tough week last week and Phil was really sick. This week we were back and started getting better and better and got our first win. 
Gabathuler and Gerson complete run from qualifiers with bronze
Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson completed their run from the qualifiers as they won the bronze medals after a roller-coaster match against Kazakhstan’s Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko, who also started off the tournament in qualifying.

The Swiss pair battled back from losing the first set to win 2-1 (28-30, 21-19, 15-9) in one hour, one minute and claim their first Grand Slam medals a month after they claimed their first World Tour medals at the Anapa Open in Russia. 

“I can’t believe it,” Gerson said. “This is amazing and the game was so much fun. I said to Philip to go for every ball and it worked today.

“It was a very difficult match. We had a lot of matches as we came from the qualification tournament and carried on playing here and now we’ve won the bronze medal.”

Third time a charm as Ross and Walsh claim gold at Stavanger Grand Slam

April Ross and Kerri Walsh claimed their third gold medals of the 2014 World Tour when they defeated Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo in the Stavanger gold medal match on Saturday.

The US pair beat the Spaniards 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) to add Stavanger gold to their wins at the Fuzhou Open and Moscow Grand Slam from earlier in the year. 

The pair have only been together since the 2013 Gstaad Grand Slam, but since then they have now claimed World Tour gold at five tournaments.

“The way my heart has been racing all day and the way we battled all week it is such a culmination of our hard through work through the ups and downs,” Walsh said. “We played steady; we played with fire and a lot of heart.”

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