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Talking Stats: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour—June 16

Russia's Konstantin Semenov, center, goes high to block Poland's Mariusz Prudel as Semenov and teammate Viacheslav Krasilnikov have piled up some solid numbers through the first five events on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 16, 2014 — With five men’s events and six women’s tournaments completed, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) continues its 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. This week, the FIVB World Tour is in the middle of three consecutive US$800,000 FIVB Grand Slams with the FIVB Berlin smart Grand Slam starting Tuesday.

Here are some more ‘appetizers’ from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, before continuing this very busy three weeks.A tasty ‘sampler’ platter of FIVB Beach Volleyball delights:

•    Poland repeats as men’s U23 Champs – The FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships have been played only two times, both in Myslowice, Poland, and the home nation have won both men’s events.  Maciej Kosiak / Maciej Rudol followed up last year’s winners Piotr Kantor / Bartosz Losiak with another gold medal for Poland.  Poland men’s teams have dominated the age group World Championships with at least one gold every season since 2009 and seven of the 12 awarded during that time span.

•    Australia women return to top of podium in U23 Championships – Before the 2014 FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships, Australian women’s teams had not won a gold medal on the FIVB World Tour in seven years, and it had been eight years since Becchara Palmer/Alice Rohkamper won gold in the U19 World Championship in Bermuda.  Australian women’s teams have come close on three previous occasions with a silver medal in the 2007 FIVB U21 World Championships and two bronze medals in the FIVB U19 World Championships in 2010 and 2012.

•    Surprise 36th seed lucky loser finishes 5th – When Kelley Larsen/Betsi Metter of the United States lost their qualification match on Tuesday, they thought their U23 World Championship tournament was finished.  Given second life as the lowest seed when a team dropped out, they made the most of their opportunity to run through their pool with a perfect 5-0 record, and another match win before finishing 5th. By the way, their opponent who defeated them in the qualifier was Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes/Taylor Pischke, who won the bronze medal in Myslowice.

•    Russia continues its host country success – Russian men’s teams have graced the podium of an FIVB World Tour event 15 times now and one-third of those, including two of the four gold medals have come on their home soil.  Besides Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov winning in the 2014 FIVB Moscow Grand Slam, previous medals have come in the FIVB Anapa Open in 2013 (gold and silver), the 2014 FIVB Anapa Open (silver), and the FIVB St. Petersburg Open in 2007 (silver).

•    Another first-time winner – Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov won his first-ever FIVB World Tour gold medal at the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.  He becomes the fourth first-time men’s winner in 2014.  In the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open, both Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy were both first-time winners, and Latvia’s Aleksandrs Solovejs claimed his first FIVB World Tour gold in the Anapa Open.  In addition, there have been eight first-time winners on the women’s side, and all of them have been partners. Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst who won the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam, Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas who won the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic who won the FIVB Prague Open, and Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grossner of Germany who won the FIVB Anapa Open.

•    Brazilian men still shut out from the podium – Despite having four teams in the top 13 seeds, the Brazilian men failed once again to win a medal with three teams finishing 5th and one finishing 9th.  Brazil did not have any men’s teams playing in the FIVB Anapa Open two weeks ago, but their previous two World Tour best finishes have been 9th in the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open and 4th in the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam after winning silver in the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open.  The Brazilian men haven’t won a gold medal since the FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam in October of 2013.

•    German women still perfect in qualifying – Germany placed a team from the qualifying tournament into the main draw for the sixth time in the six events of 2014.  With two teams in the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam, Germany qualified Teresa Mersmann/Isabel Schneider and barely missed with Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude who lost 18-16 in the third set to finish 33rd.  Laboureur and Sude qualified in the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open to be part of the six for this season.

•    United States women’s pool play streak broken – In the 2014 FIVB World Tour season, all nine women’s teams from the U.S. had advanced from pool play into the 24-team single elimination rounds.  Despite three teams advancing in Moscow, their streak was broken when both 8th-seeded Emily Day/Summer Ross and 21st-seeded Lane Carico/Brittany Hochevar failed to win a match in their pool and finished 25th.  Germany which had advanced 19 out of 20 also failed to advance two of their five, and Brazil failed to advance one of their five teams.

•    United States women continue to defeat Brazil in gold medal matches – Brazilian women’s teams have played in 192 FIVB World Tour gold medal matches, 49 times with both teams participating and 143 times against other countries.  Brazil holds some impressive records in finals, including 15 wins to 7 losses against China, 10-1 against Germany, 7-2 against Australia, 3-0 against Austria, and 2-0 against Italy.  Their overall finals record against other countries is 82-60, holding a lead or tied in every series except against the United States where the Americans have now won 49 out of the 89 gold-medal matches.  This week’s gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings has contributed 27 of those 49 wins against Brazil, 23 with Misty May-Treanor, three with April Ross, and one with Rachel (Wacholder) Scott.


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