Vitória Open competition features 32 pool play matches
The fifth FIVB World Tour event for women on the 2015-2016 calendar is being played on Camburi beach where the world’s best beach volleyball returned for the first-time since 2006 when Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca were the gold medal winners in the late September event.
• Vitória Open website
• Qualification - Men
• Qualification - Women
• Main draw - Men
• Main draw - Women
Playing with different partners on Camburi beach Wednesday, Juliana and Larissa won two matches each Wednesday in Pool C and A, respectively. As the third-seeded team Juliana and Taiana Lima defeated pairs from Austria and Canada while the top-seeded Larissa and Talita bettered tandems from Norway and Germany.
While Juliana and Lima are alone atop their pool, Talita and Larissa are tied with 16th-seeded Linline Matauatu and Pata Miller of Vanuatu as the two teams meet mid-day Thursday to determine their group’s title. Juliana and Lima’s final pool match is against 14th-seeded Emily Day and Jen Kessy of the United States.
Mikasa in hand, Vanuatu's Linline Matauatu
When the women complete their final pool play matches Thursday, the top-three teams from each group will advance to the 24-team elimination bracket where the first two rounds will be played Friday. The pool winners will earn a first-round bye and will play Friday afternoon.
The men’s and women’s quarter and semifinal matches will be played Saturday. The medal matches for both genders will be contested Sunday where the winning teams will share the $11,000 first-place prizes. The early season FIVB World Tour swing through Brazil will conclude in Vitória after previous stops in Maceio (February 23-28) and on iconic Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro (March 8-13).
OTHER UNDEFEATED PAIRS
Joining the two Brazilian teams with 2-0 group records are second-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States (Pool B), fourth-seeded Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia (Pool D), eighth-seeded Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy (Pool H), 15th-seeded qualifiers Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia of Brazil (Pool B), 22nd-seeded Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany (Pool F), 26th-seeded qualifiers Taru Lahti/Riikka Lehtonen of Finland (Pool G) and 28th-seeded qualifiers Jennifer Fopma / Brittany Hochevar of United States (Pool E).
Following the Vitória Open, the FIVB World Tour will take a two-week break before resuming action April 4-8 men’s-only event in Doha, Qatar. Before returning to Brazil for the Fortaleza Open at the end of April, two double-gender events will be staged in China at Xiamen (April 12-17) and Fuzhou (April 19-24).