FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open women’s qualification tourney Wednesday
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.
Based on the entry total, the top five seeds in the qualifying tournament have received byes and passed through to berths in the main draw. The teams who will fill five of the final eight spots in the 32-team women’s main draw which starts Thursday are teams from the United States, Germany, Venezuela, Japan and Canada.
The top five teams advancing already are USA’s Heather Hughes/Christal Engle, Germany’s Sandra Seyfferth/Kim Behrens, Venezuela’s Norisbeth Agudo/Gabriela Brito, Japan’s Ayumi Kusano/Sakurako Fujii and Canada’s Claudia Seguin/Brandie Wilkerson.
The six countries which have teams in Wednesday’s FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open women’s qualification tournament are: China, Crotia, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico and Norway.
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 started Tuesday and goes through Saturday while women’s competition begins Wednesday and ends Sunday. The tournament format has a one-day qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play of three matches per team followed by 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 receives three teams in each gender pre-seeded into the main draw. Mexico’s single team in the women’s qualification tournament is Haydee Lopez/Mayra Santacruz.
Visiting Puerto Vallarta for the first time, the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open will be the ninth and 10th all-time FIVB World Tour FIVB World Tour events 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.