Fortaleza, Brazil, April 30, 2016 - Challenging the competition along with constant strong winds, swirling sand, pervasive heat and one day of a tropical rain storm, Germany’s sixth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik duo has earned a spot against Brazil’s 22nd-seeded Oscar Brandao/Andre Loyola in the gold medal match of the FIVB Fortaleza Open.
The medal matches for both genders will all be played on Sunday with the awarding ceremony following the last gold medal match concluding the event. The FIVB Fortaleza Open is being played at the purpose built stadium at Praia do Futuro in Fortaleza, site of last week’s season finale of the Brazilian National Tour.
Germany’s Erdman/Matysik earned their spot in the gold medal match with a three-set semifinal win by holding off Chile’s seventh-seeded cousins Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt and Brazil’s 22nd-seeded Oscar Brandao/Andre Loyola ambushed Mexico’s third-seeded Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen, winning their semi in straight sets.
Chile’s M. Grimalt/E. Grimalt and Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgin will meet in the men’s bronze medal match Sunday morning prior to the two gold medal matches.GOLD MEDAL PREVIEW
Meeting in the first FIVB World Tour gold medal match for either team, Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik are playing in their 68th international tournament with six final four finishes with three bronze medals and three fourth place finishes. It is the first tournament back on the tour since FIVB Rio Grand Slam in early March. The team has been in training only while Matysik recovered from an injury.
The German duo enters the gold medal match with a 6-1 record in this tournament. And heir last final four finish as a team was a fourth place finish at the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland.
Individually, Erdmann in his seventh FIVB World Tour final four with three bronze medals and three fourth place finishes. For Matysik, this is eighth FIVB World Tour final four with four bronze medals and three fourth place finishes.
Summarizing both of his teams victories Saturday to earn an opportunity for the gold medal, Erdmann said, “We have been looking forward to getting back into competition and we have played methodically here in Fortaleza. We played two very good and two very different teams today from the USA and Chile. Both are aggressive but we concentrated on staying calm and relaxed and just work our game plans and in both matches today it really worked. We are very excited to be in our first FIVB World Tour gold medal match and of course we want to bring some gold back to Germany.”
Brazil’s Oscar, 30, and Andre, 21, are playing in just their fifth FIVB World Tour event and this is their first final four appearance. Oscar/Andre won the gold medal at the CSV Continental Tour event in Ancon, Peru this season. Including their pool play win over the Germans, Brazil’s Oscar/Andre enter the finale with a perfect 6-0 match record with only one match going to three sets.
After their semifinal victory over Mexico and looking towards the gold medal rematch with Germany, Brazil’s Andre said, "We knew that we had a tough game ahead, after all we would face the Pan-American Champions. We got on court focused and our service worked well. Oscar told me that he knew how the Mexicans play, so I trusted him and let him do his job. We are together for four months and this is our third final, the first on the FIVB World Tour, but we have already a gold medal on Brazil's National Tour and another one on South American tour. Tomorrow we will play the Germans that we met in pool play. We won that match. But I am more concerned in having fun and enjoy this great moment of my career."
The gold medal match will be a rematch of the second round of pool play that saw Brazil’s Oscar/Andre upset Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik in two sets, 21-16, 21-18 in 34 minutes. BRONZE MEDAL PREVIEW
Meeting in the men’s bronze medal match Sunday morning will be Chile’s seventh-seeded cousins Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt and
This is the 37 FIVB World Tour event for Chile’s Grimalt coulsins, their fourth final four with two silver medals and one fourth place finish. It is also their second final four in the 2016 FIVB World Tour as they finished in fourth place in the FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey.
For Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgen this is their 29th FIVB World Tour event with three final four finishes including one silver medal and two bronze medals along with five fifth-place finishes. Striving like most of the teams here in Fortaleza to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through the FIVB World Tour, Ontiveros/Virgen have two other final four finishes this season (Silver-FIVB Antalya Open, Bronze-FIVB Xiamen Open).SEMIFINAL RESULTS
In Saturday’s first men’s semi-final, Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik outlasted Chile’s M. Grimalt/E. Grimalt in three sets, winning the first set 21-12, falling in the second, 17-21 an clinching the top in the first FIVB career gold medal match with a 15-8 score in the tiebreaker set. The match lasted 48 minutes.
Brazil’s Oscar/Andre took charge early against Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgen, a much-higher seeded and more experienced team and after winning a tight first set 21-19, pulled away from the Mexican team 21-11 in the second in the 35-minute match.QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
Saturday’s first matches in Fortaleza for the men were the quarterfinals with the winner’s advancing to Saturday’s semifinals.
The quarterfinal matches saw Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik eliminate friendly rivals in USA’s second-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, 21-18, 23-21 in 43 minutes, Chile’s M. Grimalt/E. Grimalt defeat Israel’s 20th-seeded Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman, 21-18, 2-15 in 35 minutes, Brazil’s Oscar/Andre came from behind to end giant-killing compatriots run in Fortaleza in Brazil’s 30th-seeded George Souto Wanderley/Joalisson Gomes, 19-21, 21-13 and 15-11 in 44 minutes and Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgen reached the final four by defeating Norway’s 17th-seeded Morten Kvamsdal/Christian Sorum in two sets, 21-17, 21-17 in 36 minutes.
The teams eliminated in the quarterfinals each leave Fortaleza with official fifth place finishes and $3,375 in prize money.FIVB FORTALEZA OPEN PURSE/POINTS
The gold medal teams in each gender at the FIVB Fortaleza Open will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 400 points and fourth place $4,500 and 450 points. The FIVB Fortaleza Open is the fourth event in Brazil that is part of this year’s 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. This is also the fifth of eight straight events on the FIVB World Tour as the qualification window is drawing to a close for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. ON THE HORIZON
With placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continuing, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has resumed with events over eight straight weeks through the end of May. In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio and Vitoria, this week’s FIVB Fortaleza Open (April 26-May 1) and the Brazil events conclude with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).
The FIVB World Tour heads to Europe FIVB Fortaleza Open. Up first will be in Russia for the FIVB Sochi Open (May 3-8) followed by the FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (May 11-15). The tour then visits the United States for the FIVB Cincinnati Open (May 17-22) and then returns to Russia for the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam (May 24-29).