Long Beach, Calif., USA, August 26, 2016 — Clearly the surprise team here, Italian Olympian Alex Rangheiri and his substitute partner Marco Caminati won two single-elimination ‘knockout’ rounds Friday to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball featuring the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in Long Beach, Calif. The Italians are part of eight teams from eight countries who moved forward.Quick links - Long BeachLong Beach Grand Slam websiteQualification - MenQualification - WomenMain draw - MenMain draw - Women
The 2016 FIVB World Tour regular season is concluding in the United States with the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball being held through Sunday on a colorful purpose-built venue at Alamitos Beach adjacent to Marina Green Park on East Shoreline Drive. The first two of the men’s elimination rounds will be held Friday heading into Saturday’s quarterfinals and semifinals. The medal matches will be played Sunday.ASICS WSOVB
While the cornerstone of the beach volleyball celebration is the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (regular season finale of the 2016 FIVB World Tour), the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball encompasses a wide variety of additional elements . Also part of the beach festival has been live entertainment, a special celebrity center court match, an expansive vendor’s village, multiple open, junior and youth beach volleyball tournaments and the very special legends of the game tribute dinner all at the event venue.
For complete details regarding the entire ASICS WSOBV lineup of events and activities including premium seating tickets, visit the event website at www.wsobv.com.MOVING FORWARD
Besides Italy’s 20th-seeded Rangheiri/Caminati, the only other team that made it through two elimination matches was Poland’s 21stt-seeded Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak as the other six quarterfinalists all earned first round byes for winning their pools on Thursday.
Joining the Italians and Polish duos in the quarterfinals will be teams another team from Poland along with additional tandems from Brazil, Latvia, Mexico, Spain and the United States.QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS
In Saturday’s first two quarterfinals, Italy’s Rangheiri/Caminati will play against Poland’s Bryl/Kujawiak and USA’s top-seeded Olympians Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser will be challenged by Spain’s sixth-seeded Olympians Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera
In Saturday’s other two quarterfinals, Poland’s fifth-seeded Olympians Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak will meet Latvia’s second-seeded Olympians Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins and Brazil’s third-seeded Olympians Pedro Solberg/Evandro will tangle with Mexico’s eighth-seeded Olympians Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen. ITALIAN STALLIONS
With his regular teammate and fellow Olympian Adrian Carambula unable to make the trip to the USA, Rangheiri was able to get the youthful soccer-star/beach volleyball protégé Caminati to join him for one more tournament like he did last year when they won the gold medal at the FIVB Lucerne Open. Carambula will have Carambula back with him in early September at the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto.
To reach the quarterfinals, Italy’s Rangheiri/Caminati defeated teams from Switzerland and Poland. In the first round, Italy defeated Switzerland’s 27th-seeded Jonas Kissling/Marco Krattiger, 21-14, 22-20 in 43 minutes. In the round of 16, the Italians came from behind to upset Poland’s 10th-seeded Olympians Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek in three grueling sets, 16-21, 21-15 and 15-13 in 51 minutes.
After their victory over the Polish Olympians, the affable Rangheiri said, “Wow. We really played well today, especially against the Polish team. They are a veteran FIVB World Tour team and we have played together on the tour since over a year ago. We played hard and good things can happen when you play like we have today. From the net to serving and digging, we had some of all of it and just at the right time. We regrouped after the first set and played smarter and harder the second set and then the tiebreaker was another all-out war but we won and are happy to be playing again tomorrow.”USA OLYMPIANS
USA’s Dalhausser/Lucena are ‘takin’ care of business’ as they methodically mastered Canada’s 14th-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter in straight sets, 21-14, 21-15 to the delight of the captivated home-country fans.
Following their win, Lucena stated, “I thought we played with a lot of energy that game. I felt better than the previous two days. We’re in the quarterfinals now and we have to step up. Phil’s scoring a lot of points, which is great. It makes my job easier. We get things done. We just came up with a whole new set that game, like up-tempo playing in the middle. With the wind, that helped me. We did a good job. Phil’s serving great, blocking great.”
“The wind was nothing compared to Rio during the Olympics, but I thought we handled it well here. It was swirly here and in Brazil you had one bad side. But you know what? It’s part of our job.”
Regarding playing Spain, Dalhausser said, “They’re solid, we’re going to have to play good, solid volleyball, handle their serve. They’re a good serving team and we’ll see what happens.”
Ironically, the only other time the two teams have met on the FIVB World Tour was in last year’s FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam. USA’s Dalhausser/Lucena prevailed in their semifinal match against Spain’s Herrera/Gavira in a three-set match which lasted 62 minutes. FIVB LONG BEACH GRAND SLAM PURSE/POINTS
The gold medal teams at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will split $57,000 and 800 points, the silver $43,000 and 720 points, the bronze $32,000 and 640 points and fourth place $24,000 and 560 points.ON THE HORIZON
Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, there are two more events scheduled on the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar. First event scheduled is in the United States--the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (Aug. 23-28) and the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals (Sept. 13-18, Toronto, Canada). The Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals, with $100,000 going to each winning team, will feature the top eight point leaders in each gender from the current FIVB World Tour plus four wild card teams in each gender.GROWING HISTORY
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in the United States is the 350th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 311th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.