Fortaleza, Brazil, April 29, 2016 — Three rounds of exciting passion-driven matches resulted in five teams from host country Brazil and one each from the Netherlands, the United States and Vanuatu emerging as the ‘elite eight’ to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals at the FIVB Fortaleza Open.
The event is the fourth and final regular season Brazilian stop on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
On Saturday at the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open, the quarterfinals and semifinals for both genders will be played. 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 regular season finale of the Brazilian National Tour.QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS
Starting off Saturday’s schedule will be the quarterfinals with the pairing finalized under the lights on Friday night. The schedule will see Netherlands’ third-seeded Marleen Van Iersel/Madelein Meppelink facing Vanuatu’s sixth-seeded Miller Pata/Linline Matauatu, Brazil’s fifth-seeded Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia taking on USA’s 24th-seeded Amanda Dowdy/Emily Stockman, Brazil’s 19th-seeded Rebecca Silva/Liliane Maestrini playing Brazil’s 22nd-seeded Angela Lavalle/Rachel Nunes and Brazil’s fourth-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima playing compatriots in Brazil’s 18-seeded Carolina Horta/Ana Patricia Ramos.FIVB FORTALEZA OPEN PURSE/POINTS
The gold medal teams 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.ROUND OF 16 RESULTS
The third round of women’s action on Friday was the Round of 16 matches that saw more exciting finishes and five Brazilian teams advancing to the quarterfinals, guaranteeing the South American powerhouse at least two teams in the finals as four teams will play each other in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Breaking down the Round of 16 into four groups, in the first group Brazil’s Eduarda/Elize Maia continued their impressive run, defeating Argentina’s 20th-seeded Maria Julia Benet/Virginia Zonta, 21-7, 21-9 in just 25 minutes, Netherlands’ Van Iersel/Meppelink struggled some but overcame Germany’s 12th seeded Isabel Schneider/Teresa Mersmann, 23-21, 21-18 in 39 minutes, Vanuatu’s Pata/Matauatu beat USA’s 14th-seeded Kim Dicello/Kendra Vanzwieten, 21-15, 24-22 in 38 minutes and Brazil’s Carol/Ana Patricia hung on to defeat compatriots in Brazil’s 25th-seeded Josemari Alves/Vanilda Leao in three sets, 21-19, 25-27 and 15-10 in 50 minutes.
In the second segment, Brazil’s Angela/Rachel beat USA’s 13th-seeded Summer Ross/Lane Carico, 21-14, 21-13 in 31 minutes, USA’s Dowdy/Stockman stunned Brazil’s top-seeded defending FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas in three sets, 21-17, 18-21 and 15-13 in 50 minutes, Brazil’s Rebecca/Lili defeated USA’s 10th-seeded Brittany Hochevar/Jennifer Fopma in two sets, 21-17, 21-14 in 33 minutes and Brazil’s Juliana/Lima ended the evening with a thrilling three-set victory Germany’s second-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, 21-7, 16-21 and 15-10 in 44 minutes.
For Juliana the victory was even sweeter as she is playing in front of her hometown family and friends in Fortaleza. Helping keep the nerves of the moment from catching up to the team, Juliana’s teammate Taiana Lima came up with repeated big plays both at the net and in serving several aces or serves that created scoring opportunities for the Brazilians.
The eliminated teams in the Round of 16 leave Fortaleza with official ninth place finishes and each team will split a purse of $2,000.SUPER SURPRISE
Considering it was their first FIVB World Tour event as a team and that they had lost a pool play match in the tournament to a Brazilian team that was eliminated in the Round of 16, USA’s Amanda Dowdy/Emily Stockman easily pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far to defend Brazil’s reigning FIVB World Champions and 2016 Olympians Agatha/Barbara. To be sure it wasn’t easy and while the Brazilians may have been showing some signs of there several weeks away from competition while training, The Americans stuck to their game, didn’t play intimidated and made few mistakes to pull off a classic victory.
While the first set went as planning with Brazil’s experienced Agatha/Barbara winning with a cushion. Things gradually turned around as the Americans kept the heat on and secured the victory in the tie-breaker.
“We don’t play to lose and we kept to our game, sided out well and in the end we won and it’s a great story,” said Dowdy.
Teammate Stockman added, “We determined not to be embarrassed, play our game and see what happens. We were loose with nothing to lose and we had just enough gas in the tanks to pull it out against the FIVB World Championships. It’s tremendous motivation for our new team to keep pursuing our goal of being regulars on the FIVB World Tour.”EDUARDA AND ANA PATRICIA QUOTES
While playing separately in Fortaleza, Brazil’s 17-year old phenoms Eduarda and Ana Patricia have both advanced to the quarterfinals. While Eduarda, who teams with Elize Maia on the FIVB World Tour, and Ana Patricia, who is playing in this tournament with Carolina Horta, will try to make more international history. In 2014, Eduarda/Ana Patricia won the gold medal at the Beijing Youth Olympics and in a couple of weeks they will reunite to play in the 2016 FIVB U-21 World Championship in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Keeping their focus on this tournament in Fortaleza, they both commented after their Round of 16 victories.
Commented Eduarda following her team’s victory, “I am very happy with this victory. During the FIVB Rio Grand Slam I got injured, so we didn’t play very well. Now I am back on a good shape. We won one point at the time, conscious about our way to play. I am used to thinking and planning in each phase of the tournament, we go gradually. Now the competition is really on because any defeat means you are out of it.”
Ana Patrícia reflected after her team’s Round of 16 win, “We are working hard every day at practice. The results are coming now and I can tell that we are growing and increasing. We are focused on this FIVB World Tour event, we need to get this opportunity to earn points and to learn. We had some tough matches but we had each other’s back which helps our confidence level as a team.” ROUND OF 24
In the first elimination round held mid-day on Friday, USA’s Dowdy/Stockman upset China’s seventh-seeded Chen Xue/Xinyi Xia, 2-1, Argentina’s Zonta/Benet won 2-1 over USA’s Hester/Ledoux, USA’s DiCello/VanZwieten won 2-0 over Brazil’s Andressa Ramhalo/Taina Silva, Germany’s Schneider/Mersmann won 2-1 over Venezuela’s Olaya Pazo/Norisbeth Agudo, Brazil’s Nunes/Lavalle won 2-0 over Czech Republic’s Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova, Brazil’s Rebecca /Lili won 2-0 over Norway’s Janne Kongshavn/Vilde Solvoll, Brazil’s Carolina/Ana Patricia won 2-0 over Colombia sisters Andrea Galindo/Claudia Galindo and Brazil’s Julian /Lima won 2-0 over Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt/Anni Schumacher.
The teams eliminated in the Round of 24 leave Fortaleza with official 17th place finishes and each team will split purses of $1,200. POOL MASTERS
Starting the day Friday was the last of three pool-play matches, with the winners advancing automatically advancing to the Round of 16 later in the day. winners with unblemished 3-0 records were Brazil’s Eduarda/Elise Maia, Vanuatu’s Pata/Matauatu and Brazil’s Alves/Leao. USA’s Brittany Hochevar/Jennifer Fopma won their pool with a 2-1, winning be tiebreaker in a group that had a rare three-way tie for first.
Winning the reduced three-team pools with 2-0 records were Brazil’s Agatha/Barbara, Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst, Netherlands’ Van Iersel/Meppelink and USA’s S, Ross/Carico.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).