Men complete first of three rounds of Pool Play at Long Beach
Being held in Long Beach, Calif., the event is tied for offering the largest Grand Slam purse in FIVB history the weeklong festival will include extensive coverage Friday through Sunday on the NBC family of networks.
Thursday, the men’s schedule in the 32-team main draw will be the final two of three rounds of pool play to determine the 24 teams who will advance to the single-elimination phase of the tournament on the road to the championship. It is the third of four consecutive FIVB Grand Slam tournaments being held in four separate countries—Switzerland, The Netherlands, the United States and Austria.
Of the eight teams that qualified for the last spots in the main draw, only two won the first pool play match led by USA’s 2008 Olympic champion Todd Rogers and his teammate Theodore Brunner, seeded 25th in the main draw and in three sets upset Spain’s eighth-seeded Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira who won the silver medal here in Long Beach last year. USA’s Rogers/Brunner held of Spain’s Herrera/Gavira, 21-17, 19-21and 15-13 in 46 minutes. The other qualifier team who won their opening pool play match was Brazil’s 15th-seeded Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves who won in two sets of Kazakhstan’s 18th-seeded Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko.
Overall, the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, a $1,000,000 FIVB Grand Slam is a SoCal beach festival that includes 4-person and 6-person recreational events, a youth tournament and nightly music concerts. The event also includes live or same-day telecasts split between NBC Sports Network, Universal Network and NBC TV Network.
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, a $1,000,000 FIVB Grand Slam is using a format of a single-day qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments, round-robin pool play which began Wednesday. It will conclude with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. With the event being held for the second straight year in Long Beach the purpose-built site is located on the sands of the Alamitos Beach adjacent to Marina Green Park on East Shoreline Drive. General admission is free to the event and VIP tickets are on sale through the event website at www.wsobv.com.
Including Rogers/Brunner, USA’s six teams compiled a 5-1 record on opening day while South American powerhouse Brazil saw all four of its teams win their first round matches.
Besides Rogers/Brunner, winning Wednesday for the USA were top-seeded defending event champions Sean Rosenthal/Phil Dalhausser, seventh-seeded Nick Lucena/Ryan Doherty, 11th-seeded John Hyden/Tri Bourne, and 12th-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson. The lone USA team to lose Wednesday was 32nd-seeded qualifying team James Drost/Casey Jennings.
In addition to Felipe/Goncalves, the other unbeaten Brazilians on Wednesday were third-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, sixth-seeded Pedro Salgado/Emanuel Rego and ninth-seeded Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho.
FIVB WORLD CHAMPS LOSE
Netherlands’ 14th-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, the 2013 FIVB World Champions, stumbled in their first pool play match, losing to Canada’s 19th-seeded Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton in three sets, 21-18, 19-21 and 15-13 in 54 minutes, the longest men’s pool play match of the day.
MR. ROGERS SAID
Continuing to diligently dive into the competition and mentor known as ‘the professor’ the to the young guns, USA’s Todd Rogers reflected following his team’s upset win over Spain, “We played well today in most facets of the game and I think we kept them a little off-balance in their regular game. We are continuing to improve as a team and when we effectively work our game plan the results have been pretty positive. Now we need to sustain our effort and performance for a lot more matches. We want to play on center court in front of our fans for a change. It is superb that the FIVB can have an event in the United States for the last two years and I hope it continues for many more years.”
FIVB PURSE, TOURNEY TOTALS
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, a $1,000,000 FIVB Grand Slam, is the 307th FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 271st FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992. Gold medal winning teams in each gender in Long Beach will split $70,000, silver will receive $52,000, bronze winners get $40,000 and the fourth place finishers will earn $30,000 of the $1,000,000 total purse.
Men and women’s single-elimination play will begin on Friday with the quarterfinals for men also on Friday. Women’s quarterfinals and men’s and women’s semifinals will be held on Saturday. The medal matches closing the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, a $1,000,000 FIVB Grand Slam will be held on Sunday. Through Friday is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. and at 10 a.m. on Sunday for the medal matches.
The total entry list for the 2014 ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, a $1,000,000 FIVB Grand Slam includes 79 men’s teams from 29 countries and 60 women’s teams from 26 countries selected by their respective national federations.