FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Porec MAJOR | 2 - 7 juin 2015


Press release

Porec “Major” Notes

Jen "Mama" Kessy (left) and Emily Day of the United States posts two wins Wednesday in the Porec Major, including a "16-17" victory.

Porec, Croatia, June 3, 2015 - As the US$800,000 Porec Major,  inaugural SWATCH Beach Volleyball Major Series event, staged 56 matches here Wednesday for both women and men, the FIVB World Tour “money” rounds produce a variety of interesting notes.

Wednesday was no different as the fifth stop on the women’s FIVB World Tour featured two rounds of pool play while the men were in qualification for Thursday’s opening Main Draw rounds.  Thursday’s 40-match slate will be highlighted by the women’s final group matches along with the first-round of elimination featuring the second- and third-place finishers for each pool.  The women group winners receive a “bye” and play again Friday in the second-round of elimination.

One of the “major” news items Wednesday for women was Jen “Mama” Kessy and Emily Day posting a three-set win (12-21, 21-19, 15-13) in 53 minutes over Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada, who earned a silver medal two weeks ago at the FIVB World Tour stop in Prague, Czech Republic. 

The match between the 16th- and 17th-seeded teams are “usually” the best first-round pairing.  The stats this year verify the “toughest” of the pairing as four of the five 16-17 contests have been three-setters and have averaged 51 minutes of action.  Bansley and Pavan were seeded 17th last week in Moscow where they dropped their opening match before bouncing back in pool play to defeat Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca to snap the Brazilians’ 29-matching winning streak.

For the 16th-seeded Kessy and Day, the Americans ended Wednesday with a win over a team from Croatia to set up a clash of Pool A unbeatens Thursday for the group leadership and an elimination “bye” where the winning team is guaranteed a ninth-place finish in the Porec Major.

Kessy and Larissa have “major” history against each other on the international Beach Volleyball scene as Thursday’s meeting will be the 25th-time the two players have faced each other in FIVB sanctioned events.  Larissa has a “major” 19-5 edge in head-to-head between the two players, but Kessy has two “major” victories in the Beach Volleyball’s most prestigious events - the FIVB World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Kessy’s first “major” win over the Brazilian was in 2009 FIVB World Championships in Norway, where she and April Ross “shocked” the planet’s Beach Volleyball followers by posting 2-0 (30-28, 23-21) victory over Larissa and Juliana Felisberta in the 58-minute finale in Stavanger.

Three years later in the London 2012 Olympic Games, Kessy and Ross posted another “major” shock by posting a come-from-behind 2-1 (15-21, 21-19 and 15-12) semi-final victory over Larissa and Juliana in 58 minutes.  The win earned Kessy and Ross a shot at Olympic gold, but they were defeated by compatriots Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings in the London finale.

Larissa and Talita are playing in their eighth FIVB World Tour event since forming their partnership last July.  After placing ninth in their first two events together, the Brazilians have posted a 37-2 record with five-straight gold medal finishes.  The only “blemish” on their record is the lost last week in Moscow to Bansley and Pavan.

The Porec Major is the second international event for Kessy and Day as the Americans placed fifth last week at the Moscow Grand Slam.  With a 6-2 match mark this season, Kessy and Day have defeated four teams that have appeared in FIVB World Tour semi-finals this season, including a Moscow victory over Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas.  The Canadians won the season’s first gold medal at the end of April in China where they defeated Ross and Walsh Jennings in the semi-finals.

The Porec Major will stage medal matches Saturday for women and Sunday for men.  The winning teams in both genders will share the $57,000 first-place prize along with gathering 800 “valuable” points that will help determine the field for the season-ending SWATCH Major Series event in the United States at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Following this and next week’s SWATCH Major Series event in Norway (June 9-14), the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for an event in the United States in St. Petersburg, Fla. (June 16-21).  The June schedule ends with the start of the world championships in The Netherlands (June 26-July 5).

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