Early markers laid down as Stavanger Grand Slam gets underway
With FIVB Beach Volley World Tour points on offer ahead of a one-week break after three consecutive Grand Slams teams were eager to gain some early momentum and the leading sides responded in fine style as the women played two matches on the opening day.
For the men they had to face qualification to the main draw, but both the gold and silver medallists from the previous tournament – the Berlin Grand Slam – made it through, meaning John Hyden and Tri Bourne and Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty can both dream about going from qualifying rounds to the podium once again.
Evergreen Nummerdor back for more in Stavanger
After nearly a year off the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, Reinder Nummerdor made his first appearance of 2014 at the Stavanger Grand Slam as he and Steven van de Velde reached the men’s main draw.
The pair faced two matches in qualifying and started with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) win over Austria’s Tobias Winter and Lorenz Petutschnig and then followed up with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-18) victory against Chilean cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt.
“This is great for us, we can play three strong teams in the next few days,” Nummerdor added. “He brings a lot of energy, he is young, he works hard, listens and wants to improve every day.
“He played great today, so there isn’t much coaching involved, but of course we have a long way to go.”
Swiss duo up and running at Stavanger Grand Slam
Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich didn’t hang around as the women’s main draw opened, with the Swiss pair winning their first two pool matches in straight sets.
First of all they defeated China’s Fan Wang and Yuan Yue 2-0 (25-23, 21-17) and then rounded off the day by defeating Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst 2-0 (21-13, 21-12).
“It was very good out on the court,” Zumkehr said. “We did not expect to win two straight sets, because they are a very good team, but they have not played for a couple of weeks.
“We tried to take our chances and I think we had a great match. We put a lot of pressure on them, so we are really happy to have won against such a good team.”
Stavanger receives Ministerial stamp of approval on return to World Tour
Norwegian Minister of Culture, Thorhild Widvey visited the Stavanger Grand Slam site on the day the women’s main draw competition and the men’s qualifiers took place.
There was plenty of on-court action to entertain the minister and she was eager to see what the six Norwegian teams in the main draw had to offer the home crowd.
“I am from this district, so I have been to the World Tour many times. So it is really exciting that the Tour is back,” the Minister said. “We will just have to cheer for the Norwegians, and hopefully they will do their best.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam runs from Wednesday, June 25 until Sunday June 29. It is the eighth event and the fourth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features nine Grand Slams and 11 Open tournaments.
The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Gstaad Grand Slam which runs from July 9-13.
FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam Tournament Page
FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam women’s results
FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam men’s results
FIVB World Tour Twitter Account