Alison and Bruno out to deny Dalhausser and Rosenthal Gstaad gold
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 12, 2014 – Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt set up a Gstaad Grand Slam gold medal match against Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal on Sunday after both teams won their semifinals on Saturday.
Americans Dalhausser and Rosenthal were first into the final when they defeated compatriots Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-13) before Alison and Bruno needed on two sets to defeat Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik 2-0 (21-15, 21-19).
The gold medal match sets up the enticing prospect of a clash between Alison and Dalhausser, two of the most powerful players at the net, while Bruno and Rosenthal have proven themselves to be among the most nimble and agile of defensive players on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
“Bruno played very well,” Alison said. He defended very well and gave me the security to block well at the net.
“We’ve got to prepare well for tomorrow as it is an important match and Dalhausser and Rosenthal are the leading team at the moment. Tomorrow we will do our best and give everybody a good show.”
Alison and Bruno are in their first season together, but know each other well from their time growing up in Vitoria. They have already got off the mark on the 2014 World Tour having won bronze at the Berlin Grand Slam and silver at the Fuzhou Open.
In Gstaad though they had to go through qualifying and then slipped to a defeat in their first match in pool play, to fellow qualifiers Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros of Mexico, but quickly found their feet after that initial slip.
“We lost our first match, but since then decided not to lose our focus and we played really well just now,” Bruno added. “I think it is going to be a great match tomorrow.”
USA duo eyeing back-to-back gold
Dalhausser and Rosenthal remain on course for their second World Tour gold medals of 2014 having fought back from losing the opening set against Berlin Grand Slam silver medallists Lucena and Doherty.
They are guaranteed a third medal in 2014, having also won bronze at the Moscow Grand Slam, but they are aiming to top the podium.
“We still getting better and better as a team and right then Nick and Ryan were playing really well as a team and we couldn’t score any points,” Rosenthal said. “They won the first set pretty easily and we didn’t score many points, but we stuck together and kept trying to make good plays.
“We’ve played them many times; they’re a great team and getting better. Ryan’s the tallest guy (214cm/7’) out here and learning all the time and getting better and better. It was a big win for us and was happy to get that win and I hope they get on the podium with us.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam runs from Wednesday, July 9 until Sunday July 13 when the men’s and women’s medal matches take place. It is the ninth event and the fifth 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 Transavia Hague Grand Slam which runs from July 15-20.