Gstaad, Switzerland, July 7, 2016 - Eight men’s teams from six countries posted 2-0 pool play marks during the opening two rounds of group action at the US$800,000 Gstaad Major here Thursday as the 15 pairs headed to Rio 2016 Olympic Games combined for a 22-8 match mark in the FIVB World Tour event.
Leading the way were Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt as the top-seeded and defending Gstaad Major champions from Brazil posted wins over pairs from Switzerland and Poland Thursday in Pool A. Alison and Bruno entered this week’s event fresh from a gold medal finish last week at the Porec Major, the second of five SWATCH Major Series events on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour calendar.
Playing in a pool with two other teams headed to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, Alison and Bruno avenged a setback to 17th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel of Poland in last week’s stop in the Croatian coastal resort town. In Porec, the Poles won in three sets and here Thursday Alison and Bruno scored a 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) victory in 33 minutes over Fijalek and Prudel in the fifth FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with the Brazilians now leading 3.2.
Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri will challenge the Brazilians Friday as the 16th-seeded Italians split their two Pool A matches Thursday by losing 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-11) in 45 minutes to Fijalek and Prudel before defeating 32nd-seeded Jonas Kissling/Marco Krattiger of Switzerland 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) in 36 minutes.
Alison and Bruno have all five won of their FIVB World Tour matches with Carambula and Ranghieri, including a 2-0 (21-19, 21-9) win in 37 minutes last week in Porec. One of the Brazilians’ victories over Carambula and Ranghieri was in this Swiss Alps village last July with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-12) semi-final win in 34 minutes.
Another Friday match that is a repeat of a pool finale in Porec has 15th-seeded Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen challenging second-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena of the United States. Last week, the Mexicans posted a 2-1 (12-21, 27-25, 15-9) group win in 49 minutes over their North American rivals. With the Mexicans and Americans heading to Copacabana next month for the Olympics, both teams each won two Pool B matches each Thursday over pairs from Brazil and Norway.
Here is a list of other pool leaders entering Friday’s play with 2-0 records.
Pool C - 14th-seeded Tri Bourne/John Hyden, United States
Pool D - Fourth-seeded Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk, Canada
Pool E - Fifth-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, United States
Pool G - Seventh-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera, Spain
Pool H - Ninth-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy
The only pool where all four teams are tied with 1-1 records is Pool F as the Olympic-bound pairs of sixth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia and 11th-seeded Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg of Brazil were defeated in Thursday’s finale matches in three-sets by 22nd-seeded Michal Kadziola / Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland and 27th-seeded Philip Gabathuler/Mirco Gerson of Switzerland.
In Friday’s final Pool F matches, Samoilovs and Smedins play Evandro and Pedro while Kadziola and Szalankiewicz are challenged by Gabathuler and Gerson. With two teams finishing with 2-1 match marks, the pool winner will be decided by point ratio. The Brazilians are a plus-10 entering play Friday with the Latvians plus-7, the Poles minus-7 and the Swiss minus-10.
After Friday’s last round of pool play matches, the men face three rounds of elimination to set the field for Sunday’s semi-final and medal matches. With the women “final four” matches Saturday, the winning teams share the $57,000 first-place prize.
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