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24 men’s advance to main draw Friday at FIVB Paraná Open

Chile's Esteban Grimalt, left, prepares to pass the Mikasa to cousin Marco Grimalt Friday as the Grimalts won their pool with a 3-0 match record to advance to the elimination rounds at the FIVB Parana Open in Argentina.
Paraná, Argentina, October 31, 2014 — Battling boisterously through over two hours of steady South American rain showers and a temperature drop of nearly 30 degrees Fahrenheit, 32 men’s pro beach volleyball teams completed the last two of three round robin pool play matches Friday at the double-gender US$150,000 FIVB Paraná Open.

The top 24 teams, representing the top three from eight pools, advance to the single-elimination rounds that start Friday.

Earning a bye into the second round of elimination play on Friday are two teams each from Brazil and Canada along with one tandem each from host country Argentina, Chile, Germany and Venezuela. Back in Argentina for the sixth time and in Paraná for just the first time, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour stop is being held in Paraná through Sunday in a purpose-built venue at Balneario Thompson in Paraná, located in the Entre Rios province on the eastern shore of the Paraná River.

On Saturday the men’s round of 24, round of 16 and quarterfinals will all be played ending with the final two under the lights on the Paraná stadium court to set stage for Sunday’s men’s semifinals medal matches, and awarding ceremony. Three women’s elimination rounds were also held Friday with the women’s semifinals, medal matches and awarding ceremony will all be held on Saturday.

The FIVB Paraná Open is the 312th FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 276th FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992. Gold medal winning teams in each gender in FIVB Paraná Open will split $11,000, silver will receive $8,000, bronze medalists get $6,000 and the fourth place finishers will earn $4,500 of the $150,000 total purse.

The seven teams who won their respective pools with unblemished 3-0 records to earn a bye in the first round of single elimination are Canada’s top-seeded Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton, Canada’s second-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter, Chile’s fourth-seeded Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt,  Germany’s 12th-seeded Bennet Poniewaz/David Poniewaz, Brazil’s 14th-seeded Bruno De Paula/Hevaldo Sabino, Argentina’s 22nd-seeded Leo Aveiro/Santiago Aulisi and Venezuela’s 24th-seeded Carlos Rangel/Jhonatan Golindano.

Winning their pool with a 2-1 record to move forward to the second round of elimination play was Brazil’s youthful, talented seventh-seeded Gustavo Carvalhaes/Allison Cittadin.

Four of the top 10 seeds won their respective pools. While not winning their respective pools, all six of the other top-10 seeds did enough to advance from pool play to Friday’s first round of elimination play.

The five of the other six top-10 seeds had 2-1 records in pool play are Austria’s third-seeded Robin Seidl/Alexander Huber, Germany’s fifth-seeded Thomas Kaczmarek/Sebastian Fuchs, Austria’s sixth-seeded Tobias Winter/Lorenz Petutschnig, Argentina’s ninth-seeded Pablo Bianco/Amado Azaad and Argentina’s 10th-seeded Ian Mehamed/Nicolas Capogrosso.

Advancing from the top 10 seeds with a 1-2 record was Canada’s eighth-seeded Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow.

As the host nation, Argentina had six total men’s start the main draw, one their pool and three finished second in their pools and together the six teams had a combined 7-10 record. Leading the Argentine teams in pool play was youngsters Leo Aveiro/Santiago Aulisi, who won their pool with a 3-0 record. Second in their pools with 2-1 records were Pablo Bianchi/Julian Azaad and Ian Mehamed/Nicolas Capogrosso. Third in their pool with a 1-2 record was Angel verzali/Alejandro Ronconi while losing their three pool play matches which eliminated them from the competition were Facundo Del Coto/Martin Quiroga and Joel Leon/Exequiel Yacob.

Canada has four men’s teams in Argentina, two of them won their respective pools, one was second and the other third to all advance to the elimination rounds.  Combined in pool play, Schalk/Sexton, 16th-seeded Garrett May/Maverick Hatch, Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter and O’Gorman/Pedlow had an impressive combined 9-3 match record in pool play.

Fresh from winning the bronze medal at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in August, Argentina’s Aveiro/Aulisi continued to shine as they captured their pool with a perfect 3-0 record. On Friday, Argentina’s surprising young lions, Aveiro/Aulisi completed their pool play sweep on Friday by hanging tough and upsetting Austria’s sixth-seeeded Winter/Petutschnig in three sets, winning the first inn overtime23-21, lost the second 21-13 and came back to clinch the win by winning the third set, 15-12 in a 52-minute match.

In their first match Thursday, Argentina’s Aveiro/Aulisi won over Venezuela’s 11th-seeded Jackson Henriquez/Leon Colina, 21-19, 21-15 in 34 minutes.  In their second match of the day, Argentina’s Aveiro/Aulisi held off the comeback attempt to secure their second seed-breakthrough of the day over Austria’s sixth-seeded Tobias Winter/Lorenz Ptutschnig in three crowd-pleasing sets on the stadium court, 23-21, 13-21, 15-12 in 52 minutes.

With their first three FIVB World Tour matches securely won, Argentina’s Aveiro/Aulisi were pleased to comment.

Argentina’s Aveiro commented, “We came here with the mindset that there won't be easy matches. Yesterday we went to the hotel happy after winning two important games in the pool. Now it's amazing to win three games. We are trying to enjoy while winning as many games as possible.”

Argentina’s Aulisi said, “It is just the third match for us on the FIVB World Tour and we were very fortunate to be able to pull ahead and finish first in the pool, which for a FIVB Open World Tour event is a great merit. We should try to not be so irregular. We want Argentina to finish as high as possible.”

Cousins Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt enjoyed their last of three pool play victories and spoke about it afterwards.

Marco Grimalt commented for his team, saying, “We are very, very happy because we achieved our goal of getting first place in the pool. All the matches forward will be even harder, because the level of competition is high. During pool play we did very well working on side out and we were very focused. Our power service was very good and that helped us. Today, with the rain and the wind, it was an unusual match, but we managed to control the ball and take the win. We controlled the match when we needed to, especially there at the end.”

Men’s champion duo in Corrientes last year was Latvia’s new duo of Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins while women’s champion team was Sophie van Gestel/Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands.

Through the 2013 event, Argentina has hosted a total of five FIVB World Tour events (4 men, 1 women) with three events held in Mar del Plata. In the men’s totals, Brazil has five medals, followed by Argentina with two and with one men’s medal each in Argentina are Australia, Italy, Switzerland and the United States.

After one FIVB World Tour women’s event held in Argentina through 2013, Brazil leads the medal parade with two total medals followed by the Netherlands with one.


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