Patterson and Gibb rediscovering previous best
August 22, 2014 – Casey Patterson and Jacob Gibb ensured that they made it through to the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam second elimination round when they defeated FIVB Beach Volleyball world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen on Friday.
The US duo beat the Dutch pair 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) in the venue where Brouwer and Meeuwsen were crowned world champions just over a year ago.
“This is the place where they had a lot of magic, so I was a little bit worried about that thinking that they would be super-positive coming into this tournament knowing that they had the best tournament of their lives here,” Patterson said.
“We knew we had to serve really, really aggressively because they both have great offenses and are so physical. You have to get them out of their system and get an ace here and there and Jake made a ton of crucial blocks and sided out every ball in the match.”
Patterson and Gibb began life at Stare Jablonki as first seeds in the qualifying round. It is a reflection on the fact that the pair haven’t quite hit the same heights as they did in 2014.
On the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour they won gold at the Shanghai Grand Slam, silver in Corrientes and bronze at the Gstaad Grand Slam. So far in 2014 their best finish was a quarterfinal finish in Shanghai, but their performance against Brouwer and Meeuwsen showed that they aren’t too far off their very best.
“We’d have had four medals already if it was last year, but this is the FIVB and it is the highest level beach volleyball there is in the world and we all know that,” Patterson added.
“If you have a good year, the next year teams know what you are going to do before you do it. This year has been a little rougher, but there have been a lot of really close matches that could have gone the other way.”
Smooth progress for Herrera and Gavira
Patterson and Gibb’s win set up a second round match against Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, who were able to bypass the first elimination round when they wrapped up pool play with three wins from three.
The Spanish pair defeated Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) to ensure they topped their pool following wins over German pair Armin Dollinger and Clemens Wickler and Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Yakovlev and Alexey Kuleshov on Thursday.
“When we win we are always happy,” Gavira said. “It was a good pool with tough teams, but we got the three wins and now we must await the draw.
“We always seem to lose against the Russians, so it is good to finally beat them.”
The pair have yet to add to their medal tallies in 2014 and in the most recent World Tour tournament in Klagenfurt, they failed to progress from the pool stages.
However, they have used the three week break well; firstly they went back home to Spain for a training camp and then travelled to Biel in Switzerland where they won a CEV Masters tournament.
“We stayed in Benidorm for practice and then travelled to Biel where we won gold,” Herrera added. “We will try and continue like that here and challenge for the medals.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam runs from Tuesday August 19 until Sunday August 24 when the men’s medal matches take place. It is the 13th event and the ninth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features 10 Grand Slams and nine 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 Sao Paolo Grand Slam which runs from September 23-28.