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Brazil, Latvia, Spain, USA in men’s semis at FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam

Spain's Pablo Herrera sets the Mikasa for Adrian Gavira Friday as the pair advanced to the final four to meet USA's Phil Dalhausser/Casey Jennings in the semifinals Saturiday at the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.

São Paulo, Brazil, October 11, 2013 – While the countries may have been expected to be in the final four, the specific teams for Brazil and the United States weren’t as they and teams from Latvia and Spain will meet in the semifinal and bronze medal matches Saturday at the $440,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam double-gender tournament as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is back in Brazil for the 27th consecutive year.

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 men’s final four teams in the tournament are Brazil’s second-seeded Pedro Salgado/Bruno Schmidt, Latvia’s third-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Spain’s fifth-seeded Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira and USA’s 18th-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Casey Jennings.

In the first two quarterfinal matches, Spain’s Herrera/Gavira outlasted USA’s 20th-seeded Nick Lucena/Ryan Doherty, 21-17, 17-21, 15-12 in 47 minutes and Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins stopped Poland’s 19th-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak, 21-16, 21-16 in 34 minutes.

In the final quarterfinals of the day, USA’s Dalhausser/Jennings upset their fourth-seeded American compatriots Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson in twin sets, 21-10, 21-17 in 32 minutes and Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt defeated Brazil’s seventh-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego in two sets as well Friday night under the lights, 21-19, 21-12 in 34 minutes.

After their losses in the quarterfinals late on Friday afternoon, USA’s Lucena/Doherty, Poland’s Kantor/Losiak, USA’s Gibb/Patterson, and Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel will leave São Paulo with official fifth-place finishes and $10,000 per team in prize money.

After their quarterfinal victories, meeting in Saturday morning’s semifinals will be Spain’s Herrera/Gavira meeting USA’s Dalhausser/Jennings followed by Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt battling with Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins on the São Paulo center court.

While USA’s Dalhausser and Spain’s Herrera/Gavira are both Olympians, the Dalhausser/Jennings team is a huge surprise as Dalhausser’s regular teammate Sean Rosenthal withdrew from the tournament last Saturday, journeyman Jennings gladly accepted the opportunity to not only play but to watch his wife Kerri Walsh Jennings earn a spot in the women’s final four here in the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.

The other semifinal is a match made in beach volleyball heaven as Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt and Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins are locked in a tight battle in not only the FIVB World Rankings but also the 2013 FIVB World Tour/FIVB Open point standings. This will be the third meeting this year on the FIVB World Tour between the two teams and Salgado/Schmidt hold a 2-1 series edge. Their last meeting On June 6 in Hague, Netherlands, was the gold medal match won by the Brazilians.

Looking forward to Saturday’s semifinal match against Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt, Samoilovs commented, “Finally we’ll play on the center court. Brazil is the center of the Beach Volleyball world. Definitely it will be a tough match, but we’ll try our best. We’re in a big fight with the Brazilian teams for the FIVB season title and FIVB World Rankings. We have to fight for every point in every game.”

Countering the remarks made by Samoilovs, Salgado said, “The Latvian team is beating everybody and we’ll chase them. We’re having a good tournament, but we can’t arrive here tomorrow and not play at the same high level. That’s why we need to prepare ourselves and do a good job once again. We’ll have the fans on our side, supporting us. They will be like a third player, and we’re going to play even together.”

After their losses in the quarterfinals late on Friday afternoon, USA’s Lucena/Doherty, Poland’s Kantor/Losiak, USA’s Gibb/Patterson, and Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel will leave São Paulo with official fifth-place finishes and $10,000 per team in prize money.

After their losses in the Round of 16 mid-day on Friday, leaving São Paulo with official ninth-place finishes are: Germany’s 16th-seeded Sebastian Dollinger/Lars Fluggen, Germany’s ninth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Russia’s 12th-seeded Konstantin Semenov/Yaroslav Koshkarev, Chile’s 25th-seeded Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt, Poland’s 10th-seeded Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek, Italy’s 27th-seeded Alex Ranghieri/Andrea Tomatis, Italy’s 11th-seeded Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo and Kazakhstan’s 14th-seeded Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko.

With their losses in the Round of 24 Friday mid-morning, leaving São Paulo with official 17th-place finishes are: Netherlands’ 23rd-seeded Jon Stiekma/Christiaan Varenhorst, Austria’s 15th-seeded Lorenz Petutschnig/Alexander Horst, Germany’s 17th-seeded Mischa Urbatzka/Markus Bockermann, Norway’s 22nd-seeded Iver Horrem/Christiaan Varenhorst, Austria’s 13th-seeded Robin Seidl/Alexander Huber, Brazil’s 28th-seeded Thiago Santos/Oscar Brandao, Switzerland’s 24th-seeded Alexei Prawdzic/Sebastian Chevallier and Brazil’s top-seeded Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho. 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.

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.

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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