Long Beach, Calif., USA, August 24, 2016 — USA Olympians Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser got things started in a hurry on their ‘home country’ sand, winning their first of three main draw pool play matches Wednesday at the internationally-televised ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball that features the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam being held in Long Beach, Calif.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 Tuesday through Sunday on a colorful purpose-built venue at Alamitos Beach adjacent to Marina Green Park on East Shoreline Drive.
While the men played one of three pool play matches Wednesday, the women in the 32-team, double-gender tournament played two of their three pool play matches. After Thursday’s final pool play matches the top three teams in each of six four-person pools will advance to the single-elimination ‘knockout rounds’ on Friday and Saturday with the medal matches in both genders being played on Sunday.
Back from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where they finished fifth, USA’s top-seeded Lucena/Dalhausser came out swinging to overwhelm France’s surprising 32nd-seeded qualifiers Romain Di Giatommaso/Maxime Thiercy in straight sets, 21-10, 21-17 in just 29 minutes. France’s youthful Thiercy/Di Giatommaso was the only team that advanced to the main draw by having to play two qualifying matches on Tuesday.
While this is the fourth consecutive year that the FIVB World Tour has stopped in Long Beach, Calif., the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball featuring the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam is the 22nd men’s event of the season and 19th women’s event on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started with three events at the end of 2015.USA REMARKS
Following their quick, two-set victory Wednesday, both Dalhausser and Lucena were ready for post-match interviews.
Three-time Olympian Dalhausser commented first, “It's good to be home, it's too bad we couldn’t bring hardware home. I guess it wasn't in the cards. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight and that's the best. There is a little hangover. The Olympics is the biggest event in our sport. To come and play, this is a big tournament for us. It's not the Olympics, there is a little hangover and it's a little tough to get motivated.”
Echoing similar feelings, Lucena added, “This is a job to us. I'm looking forward to playing in the U.S., it's always fun to have a home crowd behind you. I'm glad to get this first match out of the way. You always want to win. I want to win every tournament I play in. That's motivation enough for me. We want to end with a couple wins before we head to the off-season. We'll be motivated.”American Nick Lucena spikes over France's Maxime Thiercy's block
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 will be 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.POOL PLAY SURPRISES
With a definite air of sluggishness permeating the Alamitos Beach venue among the 10 1/2 men’s teams returning from Brazil and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, eight of the 12 matches went to tiebreaker three sets to decide the winners.
The biggest upset in the first day of men’s pool play saw USA’s fourth-seeded Olympians Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson fall in straight sets to Brazil’s 29th-seeded qualifiers Thiago Barbosa/George Wanderley, 22-24, 17-21 in 41 minutes.Brazil's Thiago Barbosa tries to block USA's Jake Gibb
One first-day match saw two Olympic teams square off with Latvia’s second-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins come from behind to win in three sets over 15th-seeded cousins from Chile Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt, 17-21, 21-18 and 15-9 in 48 minutes.
Overall, the 2016 Olympians playing in Long Beach compiled a 7-3 record for the first day of pool play, Olympians had to go three sets in five of their victories as they shake out the cobwebs from a monumental two weeks in Brazil. TEAM USA
With six teams in the main draw, USA qualifiers William Allen/Theo Brunner and Mark Burik/Stafford Slick joined USA’s Dalhausser/Lucena, Gibb/Patterson, ninth-seeded John Hyden/Tri Bourne and 19th-seeded brothers Taylor Crabb/Trevor Crabb in the main draw here in Long Beach. On Wednesday, the combined record for Team USA was 2-4, with Burik/Stafford joining Dalhausser/Lucena as the only match winners.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. FIVB 2016
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar features a purse of US$8.25 million with a season that extends from last October to this October, competing at 22 venues in 12 countries. The schedule includes four FIVB Grand Slams, four Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 13 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).
The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.