Fuzhou, China, April 22, 2016 – USA’s Lane Carico and Summer Ross came up through qualification to top Pool F at the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Fuzhou Open.
Carico/Ross posted their fifth win of the tournament to earn a position in the second round knockout phase. In their final pool match they played Venezuela’s Olaya Perez Pazo and Norisbeth Isais Agudo Gonzalez in a hard fought match that went into the tiebreak.
The Venezuelans took the first set with powerful hitting from both Pazo and Agudo, but Carico/Summer yet again demonstrated their ability to turn around a match to win 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 15-11).
“We’re feeling a lot of adrenalin and intensity. I love my teammate,” said Summer
“I’m feeling super happy, it was so much fun and my teammate is awesome,” said Carico. USA’s Summer Ross and Lane Carico against Venezuela’s Olaya Perez Pazo and Norisbeth Isais Agudo Gonzalez
As the lower ranked USA team in Fuzhou, Carico/Summer fought their way through two qualification matches beating Greek veteran’s Vasiliki Arvaniti and Panagiota Karagkouni 2-0 (21-19, 21-15).
“I’d say every match was a battle and we just got to work on stuff every time we were on the sand, so maybe we even had an advantage playing the qualifier,” said Carico.
“I think we’ve been learning so much with each match, every time we play it’s an improvement and so I’m loving it and I can’t wait to play tomorrow,” said Summer. USA’s Lane Carico
The pair then entered a challenging pool consisting of 2015 Fuzhou Open champions Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas from Canada, strong German team Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler and the higher seeded Venezuelans.
Carico/Summer lost the first set in every one of their pool matches, coming from behind to take the win each time. The USA team particularly enjoyed their match with Holtwick/Semmler which they won 2-1 (13-21, 21-15, 15-9).
“It was intense at least on our side we were just bringing everything we had. I don’t know when that happens, other forces take over and it was just so fun,” said Carico.
“Game three started out 0-3 down and coming back, it showed some passion,” said Summer.
The team paired up half way through the 2015 season and made it to round two knockouts in their first tournament together, the Yokohama Open. Carico/Summer are yet to make a World Tour final four together, but the team are focussed in Fuzhou.
“We want to keep just going out there with no limits and see what we can do. Obviously we would just love to win the whole thing,” said Carico.
“So even if we were to lose, we played with our hearts and gave it everything,” said Summer.
Three more USA teams enter the knockout phase with Kerri Walsh and April Ross top of Pool A, Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat top of Pool C and Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day also progressing in Pool E. Heidrich/Zumkehr overcome Gallay/Klug to top pool
Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr from Switzerland came up against Argentina’s Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug to decide the winner of Pool G. The two teams came out determined for the win which earns the pool winner entry into round two knockouts and the rest of the day off.
Gallay/Klug dominated the first set with the powerful Argentinians closing the set smoothly 21-13. The Swiss pair regrouped in the second pulling back the match for the tie-break. In the third, it was evident just how much each of the teams wanted the win, but it was Heidrich/Zumkehr who triumphed for the pool win, 2-1 (13-21, 21-17, 17-15). Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich up against Argentina’s Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug
“Now I feel great but we started really badly and it was hard to fight back in the game. We did it and now it’s a really great feeling that we won this game and that we won our pool. I think we can do many things better but we won so that’s important,” said Heidrich.
“We knew that they are a great team and that they would fight until the end, they never give up and that’s a big quality of their team. They put a lot of pressure on, in the beginning they served great, I had big trouble on the side-out, but I think what I like most about this game is that we made a comeback.
“We started badly and in the second set we started badly again and I think to win a game after this one and a half sets, is really important for us and makes us real stronger and I think that makes me even happier than winning the pool, so it was a really nice and important game for us,” said Zumkehr. Nadine Zumkehr from Switzerland
Heidrich/Zumkehr have had success in China before when they took the gold medal at the Xiamen Open last year. This year in Xiamen the Swiss pair made it to the quarterfinal the week prior to Fuzhou.
“We’re going to have a game to watch this afternoon, but for sure it’s better to not have to play again in the afternoon as there are only good teams out there and no round is easy so it’s really good to skip a round and we’ll see what we get tomorrow, we’ll fight for every point, we really want to go to the quarterfinal again and that’s the goal,” said Zumkehr.
Heidrich/Zumkehr will now face Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler for a place in the Fuzhou Open quarterfinal. Gallay/Klug defeat 2015 Fuzhou Open champions
After being defeated by Heidrich/Zumkehr, the Argentinian pair faced 2015 Fuzhou Open champions Canada’s Jamie Lyn Broder/Kristina Valjas in round one of the single elimination tournament. Pulling themselves up after defeat, Gallay/Klug were out for the win and they got it, closing the match 2-0 (21-16, 21-16).
“We were feeling bad after our match against the Swiss girls, so our mind set was not great when we entered this match, so we’re really happy we won and got through,” said Gallay.
“We have been playing good this tournament, but we lost in the pool against Heidrich/Zumkehr in a tough match so we’re happy to have revenge to try and go a little bit further, so I think we did really good. We just hope to get more points for the Olympics. Step by step is the only thing that is important for us right now,” said Klug.
The women’s semifinal positions will be decided on April 23. The gold medal teams in each gender at the FIVB Fuzhou Open will each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500. The men’s medal matches will be held on Saturday and the women’s medal matches will be held on Sunday.
• Fuzhou Open - Women