Men’s Pool Play at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam starts with upset
Long Beach, California, USA, July 23, 2013—On a day where the temperature soared to 92F degrees on the floor of the stadium court, cool swirling ocean breezes could keep the first of three rounds of men’s pool play from producing a major upset during Tuesday’s start of the 32-team men’s main draw at the $440,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam double-gender tournament as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is back in the USA for the first time in a decade. USA’s 21st-seeded Nick Lucena/John Hyden upset Brazil’s fifth-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, 23-21, 21-16 in 39 minutes.
With the second of three rounds of men’s pool play Wednesday while the women play their final pool play match and first round of single elimination, the other four top-seeded teams all won their opening matches in two sets as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumed in North America. Following Pool Play (Wednesday for the women and Thursday for the men) the single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams begins. The event is being held for the first time in Long Beach the purpose-built site is located on the expansive glistening sands of Marina Green Park on East Lakeshore Drive.
Main Draw pool play matches at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, presented by ASICS, are scheduled to continue at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday on four courts with the final rounds of action for women and the last two of three pool play matches for men. The women will also play their first round of single-elimination play Wednesday afternoon. General admission is free to the event and VIP tickets are on sale through the event website at www.wsobv.com. The last match is scheduled to start on each of the four courts at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The top-seeds winning their opening matches included two teams from the United States, along with one each from Brazil and Latvia. USA’s top-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson struggled some before silencing Italy’s Alex Ranghieri/Andrea Tomatis, 21-17, 21-15 in 34 minutes while USA’s fourth-seeded Sean Rosenthal/Phil Dalhausser survived a bit of a scare but overcame Switzerland’s Andreas Sutter/Roman Sutter, 24-22, 21-18 in 40 minutes. Brazil’s second-seeded Padro Salgado/Bruno Schmidt, who are leading the 2013 FIVB World Tour, opened pool play by defeated Austria’s Peter Eglseer/Felix Koraimann, 21-18, 21-12 in 36 minutes while Latvia’s third-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins stopped USA’s Stafford Slick/Casey Jennings, 21-14, 21-15 in 40 minutes.
For only the second time in FIVB World Tour history, the United States has five teams in each gender in the main draw. For the men, USA’s men’s teams are Lucena/Hyden, Rosenthal/Dalhausser, Gibb/ Patterson, Todd Rogers/Ryan Doherty and Slick/Jennings. The USA men’s teams ended the first day with a 4-1 record, Rogers/Doherty, another new team this year, won their match over Canada’s 22nd-seeded Christian Redmann/Maverick Hatch in two sets, 25-23 and 21-13 in 38 minutes.
Playing his first match with a new partner after his regular partner this year--the legendary Ricardo Santos pulled out of the tournament on Monday with an injury, Brazil’s ninth-seeded Alvaro Filho, who won the last tour stop with Ricardo, and new teammate Edson Barros, were pushed to three sets but finally defeated Puerto Rico’s 24th-seeded Rogerto Rodriguez-Bertran/Hector Soto, 21-13, 19-21, 19-17 in 57 minutes.
In the longest match of the opening day of main draw pool play, Switzerland’s 15th-seeded Philip Gabathuler/Jonas Weingart took 65 minutes to come from way behind and finally edge Norway’s 18th-seeded Iver Horrem/Geir Eithun, 9-21, 24-22, 22-20. Read full story here