FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

Hermannova and Slukova continue winning run

Marketa Slukova (left) of the Czech Republic hits against Madelein Meppelink of The Netherlands in one of the 16 opening pool play matches Wednesday at the Rio Grand Slam on Copacabana.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 9, 2016 - Three teams that won a pair of qualifying matches here Tuesday to earn spots in the women’s Main Draw for the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam posted opening pool victories Wednesday on the Copacabana site where the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be played.

Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic, Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany and Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova of the Slovak Republic scored seed-break-through wins to highlight the first 16 matches Wednesday morning in the 19th of 28 Olympic qualifying events for women for the Rio Summer Games.

Quick links
•    Rio Grand Slam website
•    Country quota results - Men
•    Country quota results - Women
•    Qualification - Men
•    Qualification - Women

•    Main draw - Men
•    Main draw - Women

While the Czech and Germans were defeating pairs from The Netherlands and Australia, respectively, the 28th-seeded Dubovcova and Nestarcova posted a 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-13) win over Juliana Felisberta and Taiana Lima of Brazil in a 50-minute Pool E match.

“It is great to win any match,” said the 25-year old Dubovcova.  “To win your first match against the top team in your group from the host country gives you confidence.  It was hot out there, so we need to take a dip in the Atlantic now.  We still have to come back later today for a tough match against Poland.”

Side by side Slovakia's Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova.

Dubovcova and Nestarcova’s second match Wednesday is against 12th-seeded Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska of Poland, who defeated 21st-seeded Linline Matauatu and Pata Miller of Vanuatu 2-1 (18-21, 23-21, 15-12) in 52 minutes.

The match will be the fourth FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with Dubovcova and Nestarcova lead 2-1.  Including European continental events, the Slovak Republic pair leads 4-3.  Brzostek and Kolosinska defeated Dubovcova and Nestarcova for the bronze medal at the 2015 European Championships in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Hermannova and Slukova, who are seeded 26th in Pool G in the Main Draw, upset seventh-seeded Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands 2-1 (21-16, 12-21, 15-11) in 51 minutes.  The Czech Republic, who formed their partnership late last season, also defeated Meppelink and Van Iersel two weeks ago in a Maceio Open pool play match.

The Dutch played in the FIVB World Tour finale in Maceio where they lost to Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa and Elize Maia of the host country.  Duda and Elize Maia, who also qualified for the Main Draw Tuesday with two wins, dropped their opening match Wednesday as the 23rd-seeded Brazilian lost to 10th-seeded Germans Karla Borger and Britta Buthe Germany 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, 15-10) in the 47-minute Pool G match.

Seeded 27th in the 32-team women’s Main Draw, Laboureur and Sude posted a 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-12) Pool F win in 51 minutes over sixth-seeded Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy of Australia in 51 minutes.  It was the Germans second win over Bawden and Clancy on the FIVB World Tour in as many matches.

Laboureur and Sude are currently the third-ranked German team on the Olympic qualifying list behind Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst and Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler and ahead of Karla Borger/Britta Buthe.  All four teams are competing in the Rio Grand Slam with Holtwick/Semmler being the only German women’s team to lose in the first-round of pool play match.

Emily Day
Prepping for service USA's Emily Day.

Emily Day and Jen Kessy, seeded 19th from the United States, scored a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) Pool C win in 40 minutes over the 14th-seeded Holtwick and Semmler.  Day and Kessy are currently ranked 13th on Rio Olympic provisional list and competing against Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat and April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings for a possible two USA berths in August’s quadrennial event on Copacabana.

Eighth-seeded Ross and Walsh Jennings, playing in their first FIVB World Tour event since September when they placed ninth at the “test” event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, scored a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) win over Fendrick and Sweat in a 39-minute Pool G match.

The women will play their second round of group confrontations Wednesday afternoon and evening with the third and final match for each team in the eight pools   The top three finishers in the eight four-team pools will advance to Friday’s two rounds of elimination play.  The men’s and women’s quarter- and semi-finals will be played Saturday on the seaside courts with the medal matches scheduled for Sunday morning.

The Rio Grand Slam is the third of five Olympic qualifying events being staged in the South American country with the final two tournaments being next week in Vitoria (March 15-20) and at Fortaleza (April 26-May 1).  The Rio Grand Slam is the fourth event on the women’s FIVB World Tour calendar for the 2015-2016 season.

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