24 Men’s teams set for Long Beach single-elimination rounds
Being held in Long Beach, Calif., the field has been reduced to 24 of the original 32 main-draw teams for the event that is tied for offering the largest Grand Slam purse in FIVB history the weeklong festival will feature extensive coverage by the NBC family of networks.
With 18 of the 32 matches played Thursday going to three sets to decide the winners, winning the eight four-team pools to advance to the Round of 16 Friday were four teams from the United States and one team each from Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland.
Friday, the men’s schedule for the 24 remaining teams will begin the single-elimination phase of the tournament on the road to the championship. Both men and women’s single-elimination play will begin on Friday with two rounds for both genders and 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. Friday is scheduled to start at 9 a.m., Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and at 10 a.m. on Sunday for the medal matches.
The eight teams who won their respective pools to earn a bye in the first round of single elimination were USA’s top-seeded defending event champions Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal, Poland’s second-seeded Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek, Brazil’s third-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Italy’s fourth-seeded Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo, Netherland’s 10th-seeded Jon Stiekema/Christiaan Varenhorst, USA’s 11th-seeded John Hyden/Tri Bourne, USA’s 12th-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson and USA’s 25th-seeded Todd Rogers/Theodore Brunner.
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.
All of USA’s six men’s main draw teams compiled a 14-4 record in pool play to advance to the elimination rounds while South American powerhouse Brazil saw its four men’s teams compile and 8-4 record during the round robin pool play portion of the event.
For Team USA, besides pool winners Dalhausser/Rosenthal, Hyden/Bourne, Gibb/Patterson and Rogers/Brunner also advancing to Friday’s single-elimination rounds are USA’s seventh-seeded Nick Lucena/Ryan Doherty (2-1 in pool play) and USA’s 32nd-seeded qualifying team James Drost/Casey Jennings (1-2).
Team Brazil’s four tandems, who were all 2-1 in pool play, moving to the ‘knockout rounds’ besides Alison/Schmidt are Brazil’s sixth-seeded Pedro Salgado/Emanuel Rego, Brazil’s ninth-seeded Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho and Brazil’s 15th-seeded Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves
While the heat in the air was matched by the heat on the court, two of the three-set classic duals were from long-time rival countries Brazil and the United States. Both matches involved sterling veteran players from both Brazil and the USA all either 39 years old or older. In one, USA’s Rogers/Brunner came from behind continually to edge Brazil’s Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho, 12-21, 21-19 and 15-10 in 45 minutes. In the deciding third set, USA’s Rogers/Brunner scored the last eight straight points of the deciding third set to win the match.
In the other dual for the ages, USA’s Hyden/Bourne struggled to the very end with Brazil’s Salgado/Emanuel. Like their compatriots Rogers/Bourne, USA’s Hyden/Bourne lost the first set and then came back to win the match, 18-21, 21-16 and 18-16 in 58 minutes in a glorious FIVB beach volleyball match.
Following their Long Beach center court classic, USA’s Hyden/Bourne both had plenty to say about what they just experienced on the sand.
First, Hyden praised his teammate, saying "This kid (Bourne) just started blocking balls. It made everything hard. I get frustrated, but then the kid turns it around for us and that gives us some hope and a little lead. As soon as he comes alive and starts making some plays, then we're really good. It's big (to win the pool) because it's so hot out here and it's a game off. It's huge."
His teammate Bourne added, "This is why we play. This is why we work hard to play on this stage in our home country. This is huge for us, especially against Brazil. I couldn't block anything at the beginning of the match. I was just looking for my groove, something to get me going and I found it right at the right time."
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.
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.