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NEWS

Men’s final four set for Sunday’s semifinals, medal matches at FIVB Paraná Open

 
Canada's Chaim Schalk, pictured, and Ben Saxton came in as the number one seed and have earned a spot in Sunday's final four with a 5-0 record so far as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour finishes the FIVB Parana Open in Argentina.
 
Paraná, Argentina, November 1, 2014 — Out of the oft-hovering clouds, rain that showered down at times and sunshine that blazed earlier in the week, the men’s final four has been determined for Sunday’s finale of the double-gender US$150,000 FIVB Paraná Open. 

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 in a purpose-built venue at Balneario Thompson in Paraná, located in the Entre Rios province on the eastern shore of the Paraná River. Two teams Canada along with one from Chile and another from Germany, four of the top five-seeded teams in the tournament, have earned their final day appearances.

SUNDAY SKED
On Sunday the men’s semifinals will be held in the morning starting at 10:30 a.m. with the men’s medal matches scheduled to start at 6 p.m. under the lights on the Paraná stadium court. Following the medal matches will be the colorful awarding ceremony to close the event.

MEN’S FINAL FOUR
With three of the four teams making their first final four appearance on the FIVB World Tour and all with at least six events as a team, rising to the top of the tournament with spots in the final four are Canada’s top-seeded Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton, Canada’s second-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter, Chile’s fourth-seeded Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt and Germany’s fifth-seeded Thomas Kaczmark/Sebastian Fuchs.

FIVB PURSE, TOURNEY TOTALS
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.

SEMIFINAL PREVIEWS
Following their quarterfinal victories Saturday evening, Sunday’s semifinal pairings to open the schedule for the day has Canada’s Schalk/Saxton meeting Chile’s cousins Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt in the first one followed by the second one between Canada’s Binstock/Schachter battling with Germany’s Kaczmark/ Fuchs.

Playing in their 22nd FIVB World Tour event as a team, Canada’s Schalk/Saxton are playing in their first final four with previous best finishes of two fifth places.  They are undefeated in this tournament with a 5-0 match record with all wins coming in two sets and the longest match was only 33 minutes. For Chile’s Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt, this is their 20th FIVB World Tour event as a team playing in their first final four and their previous best finish is one fifth place. They are also 5-0 in this tournament entering their semifinal match against the Canadians. The two teams have met once previously, with Chile’s Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt winning in two sets at this year’s FIVB The Hague Grand Slam.

In the second semifinal Sunday morning, Germany’s Kaczmark/Fuchs are playing in their first final four with previous best finishes of ninth place in two tournaments. They have a 5-1 record in this tournament as they won three times on Saturday to make it into the final four of the tournament. Canada’s Binstock/Schachter are playing in just their sixth FIVB World Tour event as a team with one fourth place finish in the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam this year. They have a 5-0 match record entering their semifinal match against the Germans. Binstock is a Canadian Olympian having finished in 17th in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
With all four men’s quarterfinals being played simultaneously, the results came in quickly as temperatures hovered around 60 degrees F and winds swirled at around 20 miles per hour moving play along even more quickly as none of the four matches lasted over 40 minutes and all were won in two sets.

Recapping the quarterfinal results, Canada’s Schalk/Saxton defeated Argentina’s 10th-seeded Ian Mehamed/Nicolas Capogrosso, 21-16, 21-17 in 32 minutes, Canada’s Binstock/Schachter, beat Israel’s 15th-seeded Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman, 21-14, 21-15 in 35 minutes, Chile’s Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt stayed the course to eliminate Germany’s 12th-seeded Bennet Poniewaz/David Poniewaz, 21-17, 21-12 in 32 minutes and Germany’s Thomas Kaczmark/Fuchs defeated USA’s 18th-seeded Montgomery/Casebeer, 21-18, 21-11 in 40 minutes in the longest match of the four.

The losers in the quarterfinals all leave Paraná with official fifth-place finishes and $3,375 per team in prize money.

THEY SAID IT
Following their quarterfinal victory, Canada’s Schalk said, “This iss amazing, we have never played in the semifinals of an FIVB World Tour event. We played good and did do a great job on our side out. Our blockin and defense was also very good during the entire match.”

Canada’s Saxton chimed in, remarking, “Our play against Argentina in Argentina was just great,” Said Saxton, who went on to say, “We had very nice fans who were appreciating good beach volleyball. They encouraged us all the time. This is our first semifinal on the FIVB World Tour so we are very excited and we hope for the best.”

ROUND OF 16 RESULTS
The men’ s round of 16 matches saw few upsets, but some solid, competitive matches with two of the eight going to three sets to decide.

In the frist four round of 16 matches, Canada’s Schalk/Saxton defeated USA’s 26th-seeded Trevor Crabb/Adam Roberts, 21-12, 21-14 in 32 minutes, Argentina’s Mehamed/Capogrosso toppled Argentina compatriots 22nd-seeded Santiago Aulisi/Leandro Aveiro, 21-16, 21-11 in 34 minutes,
Germany’s Bennet Poniewaz/Poniewaz defeated Canada’s eighth-seeded Grant O'Gorman/Sam Pedlow21-19, 21-16 in 44 minutes and Chile’s Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt defeated Argentina’s ninth-seeded Julian AzaadPablo Bianchi, 21-13, 21-17 in 36 minutes.

In the second half of the round of 16 matches, Germany’s Fuchs/ Kaczmarek defeated Brazil’s 14th-seeded Bruno de Paula/Hevaldo Moreira, 21-15, 12-21, 15-12 in 48 minutes, USA’s Montgomery/ Casebeer, held on to defeat Venezuela’s 24th-seeded Carlos Rangel/Jhonatan Golindano, 21-18, 19-21, 15-11 in 40 minutes, Israel’s 15th-seeded Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman held off Brazil’s seventh seeded Allison Cittadin/Gustavo Carvalhaes, 21-19, 21-19 in 40 minutes and Canada’s Binstock/Schachter, defeated Austria’s 20th-seeded Daniel Hupfer/Julian Horl, 23-21, 21-13 in 36 minutes.

The losers in the round of 16 were eliminated and leave Paraná with official ninth-place finishes and purses of $2,000 per team.

OH! CANADA
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/Saxton, 16th-seeded Garrett May/Maverick Hatch, Binstock/Schachter and eighth-seeded Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow had an impressive combined 9-3 match record in pool play. On Saturday, the Canadian tandems compiled a 5-2 record to give them a 14-5 record overall mark entering the tournament’s final day with both Schalk/Saxton and Binstock/Schachter both part of the final four men’s teams for the tournament.




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