FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Vitoria Open 2016 | 15 - 20 mars 2016


Press release

Monday Misery, Tuesday Twinkle

Janne Kongshavn (black top) at the Vitória Open net Tuesday in a successful qualifying effort against Germany's Julia Grossner.

Vitória, Brazil, March 15, 2016 - For Norwegians Janne Kongshavn and Vilde Solvoll, Monday was a depressing day as the pair feared that they might leave this South American country without any successful efforts to reach the Main Draw rounds at a FIVB World Tour event.

Kongshavn and Solvoll were again in an international qualifier here Tuesday where 28 pairs were battling for eight berths in this week’s $150,000 Vitória Open, the fifth women’s tournament on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour schedule where points from each team’s finishes will count towards qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Quick links
•    Vitória Open website
•    Qualification - Men
•    Qualification - Women
•    Main draw - Men
•    Main draw - Women

With the men’s qualifier also being played here Tuesday on Camburi beach, Wednesday’s Main Draw schedule will feature pool play action. Following Thursday’s group action, the top-three teams from each pool advance to elimination bracket play Friday with the quarter and semifinal matches being played Saturday. The medal matches for both genders will be contested Sunday where the winning teams will shared the $11,000 first-place prizes.


Norway's Vilde Solvoll (black)going high to block Germany's Victoria Bieneck

Three weeks ago in Maceio, Kongshavn and Solvoll split a pair of qualifying matches and finished 33rd. Last Tuesday on Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, the Norwegians lost their only preliminary match to place 41st in the first Grand Slam event on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour calendar.

“I was really depressed yesterday,” said the 32-year old Kongshavn. “I just wanted to go home. It wasn’t about staying in Brazil, it was about losing in the qualifiers and failing to advance to the Main Draw in Maceio and Rio. I was really down and just wanted to get back to Norway.”

Tuesday mid-day, Kongshavn and Solvoll were all smiles with a “twinkle” in their eyes.  “What a relief,” said the 25-year old Solvoll. “We are a new team and I guess we just needed sometime practising and playing together. Today we were very consistent and made fewer mistakes as compared to the last two events.”

Kongshavn credited her partner for “some great defensive plays. I even had some blocks.  As the Americans say, the third time was the charm for our new team. Thank goodness and what a relief. What a difference a day makes as I was really miserable Monday.”


After posting a 2-1 (21-17, 13-21, 15-12) win in 50 minutes over 19th-seeded Daria Rudykh/Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya of Russia, Kongshavn and Solvoll eliminated third-seeded Victoria Bieneck/Julia Grossner of Germany 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) in 37 minutes to reach their first FIVB World Tour Main Draw together.

Kongshavn noted that Tuesday’s effort also helped improve their preparation for the European Continental Cup competition where she and Solvoll will represent their country in a qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Stavanger, Norway (June 22-26).

“The event is three months away,” said Kongshavn, “and winning today is a confidence builder for us. We will be underdogs the next two days in our pool matches, but at least we know we will be feeling better about ourselves after winning two very tough matches today.”


USA's Jennifer Fopma (left) and Brittany Hochevar give ten to celebrate

Joining the Norwegians in the “third time is the charm” for the Brazilian qualifiers was eighth-seeded Jennifer Fopma and Brittany Hochevar of the United States. The Americans were also 1-1 in the Maceio qualifier and 0-1 in the preliminary rounds in Rio, but rebounded Tuesday with two match wins to advance to Wednesday’s opening pool play rounds.

Fopma and Hochevar opened play Tuesday morning with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) win in 31 minutes over 25th-seeded Josemari Alves/Vanilda Leao of Brazil before ousting ninth-seeded Nadezda Makroguzova/Olga Motrich of Russia 2-1 (22-24, 21-19, 15-9) in 53 minutes.

Other women’s qualifiers Tuesday were top-seeded Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia of Brazil, second-seeded Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova of the Slovak Republic, fourth-seeded Xinyi Xia/Chen Xue of China, sixth-seeded Taru Lahti/Riikka Lehtonen of Finland, seventh-seeded Yulia Abalakina/Ekaterina Syrtseva of Russia and 12th-seeded Barbara Hansel/Stefanie Schwaiger of Austria.


Following the Vitória Open, the FIVB World Tour will take a two-week break before resuming action on April 4-8 for the 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).

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