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Eight men’s teams advance to FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open main draw

Brazil's legendary Marcio Araujo bump sets the Mikasa for new teammate Thiago Santos as the Brazilian duo was one of two Brazilian teams to advance from Tuesday's men's qualifying to the main draw at the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, May 6, 2014—Eight men’s teams from seven countries survived a tough day at the beach to win qualification matches Tuesday to advance to Wednesday’s start of the 32-team main draw as the double-gender US$150,000 FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, the third event on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar. 

Wednesday’s schedule on the picturesque purpose-built complex on Playa Camarones will begin with the first two of three rounds of men’s pool play with the women’s qualification tournament between men’s pool play matches on the four sand competition courts.

The Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) international tour is back in Mexico for the first time since 2006 for its first event in Puerto Vallarta being held on Playa Camarones adjacent to the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort and Convention Center. The FIVB World Tour has had eight previous tour stops in Mexico. Acapulco hosted double-gender events in 1999, 2005 and 2006 and Rosarito hosted one double-gender tour stop in 2000.

South American powerhouse Brazil advanced two of its three teams in the men’s qualifier to lead the countries with teams advancing.  The other countries who have sent teams to the main draw are Australia, China, Germany, Israel, the United States and Venezuela.

Brazil’s top-seeded qualification team Gustavo Carvalhaes/Allison Cittadin were upset by China’s Zhouxin Li/Lizeng Zhang in straight sets but the other two Brazilian duos advanced after their qualifying victories are Hevaldo Morreira/Bruno De Paula and Thiago Santos/Marcio Araujo. Morreira/De Paula defeated Japan’s Yuya Ageba/Yoshiumi Hasegawa in two sets while Thiago/Marcio had to come from behind in three sets to eliminate Austria’s Michael Murrauer/Florian Schnetzer in the longest match of the day, one hour and 13 minutes.

In addition to the two Brazilian teams and the two from China, also advancing to 32-team men’s main draw were Australia’s Sam Boehm/Cole Durant, Germany’s Armin Dollinger/Clemens Wickler, Israel’s Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman, USA’s Bradley Keenan/John Mayer and Venezuela’s Jackson Henriquez/Leonard Colina. With the late withdrawal by Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves/Vitor Felipe, Cong Yang/Jiaxin Wu also moved up into the main draw by way of the ‘lucky loser’ draw between the top two teams eliminated from the men’s qualification tournament.

After playing an unusually long three-set match of 73 minutes, Brazil’s former World Champion Marcio commented, “We were very hot and tired out there and we needed to come down to get back in the match and then to stay in the match long enough to hold the off. After we lost the first set, we tried to calm down and it helped, but both of the last two sets went to overtime.  It was as hot out there as playing in Brazil, which probably helped us a little bit at the end because we are more used to it. “

“Thiago and I are still getting used to playing together and we just have to be more tranquil on the court and that will help us a lot.”

The FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open is the 300th FIVB men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 263rd FIVB women’s tournament since each started play in 1992.

The second of 11 FIVB Open events in 2014, the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open has men’s action running from Tuesday through Saturday and women’s competition running from Wednesday through Sunday. The tournament format has a one-day qualification tournament in to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play and a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. The men’s semifinals and medal matches will be held Saturday while the women’s semis and medal matches will be played on Sunday at the purpose-built stadium at Puerto Vallarta’s Playa Camarones.

As the host nation, Mexico has three teams in each gender pre-seeded into the main draw. Mexico’s three additional teams in the men’s qualification tournament Tuesday--Julio Manrique/Mario Barragan, Jesus Vallejo/Gerardo Arriola and Emilio Betancourt/Gonzalo Cancino all lost in the first round of the qualification tournament and were eliminated.

Mexico’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw are top-seeded Juan Virgen/Lombardo Ontiveros, No. 30 Ricardo Galindo/Aldo Miramontes and No. 31 Juan Revuelta/Miguel Cardenas.

Visiting Puerto Vallarta for the first time, the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open will be the ninth and 10th all-time FIVB World Tour men’s and women’s FIVB World Tour women’s tournament in Mexico. All double-gender events, the FIVB World Tour visited Acapulco in 1999, Rosarito Beach in 2000 and Acapulco again in both 2005 and 2006.

Mexico is also hosting the Inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 World Championships this year in Acapulco (July 15-20).

The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open will each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500. The men medal matches will be held on Saturday and the women’s medal matches will be held on Sunday.

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


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