USA’s Larsen/Flint among eight women qualifiers for main draw at $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam

Long Beach, Calif., USA, August 23, 2016 — Creating a good start to their first event as a team on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, USA’s Kelley Larsen/Betsi Flint won two ‘home-sand’ qualifying matches Tuesday to earn one of eight women’s main draw spots in this week’s ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball that features the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in sunny Southern California.

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The 2016 FIVB World Tour regular season is concluding in the United States with the double-gender 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.

In all, three teams from Brazil, two from the United States and one each from Germany, the Netherlands and Spain advanced from two rounds of qualifying to advance to the 32-team main draw.

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.

Needing to fight through two qualifying matches including the advancing match against a higher-seeded American duo, USA’s Larsen/Flint, both just 24 years old, advanced to their first FIVB World Tour main draw.  In their first match, the young Americans, both former top collegiate indoor players, open their qualifying tournament by defeating Japan’s Chiyo Suzuki/Mai Tanaka in two sets, 21-19, 21-11 in just 32 minutes. They came back in the deciding round to upset USA’S more experienced Kendra VanZwieten/Kim DiCello in straight sets, 22-20, 21-16 in 36 minutes.

Larsen played collegiately at Pepperdine while Flint played volleyball at Loyola Marymount University. As a team this is their four FIVB World Tour event. The youthful duo has one gold medal to their credit already on both the domestic AVP Tour and the NORCECA confederation tour.

A happy Larsen said afterwards, “It was really an exciting match-USA versus USA. It’s a team we’ve seen a lot and we’ve always had tough battles with them. They’re a good team. I thought our serving and passing was great. Our defense was awesome and I thought we clicked really well and played in a good rhythm today. We’re really excited to be going against so many Olympians and many of the world’s best teams.”

Besides USA’s Larsen/Flint, the other teams who advanced to the women’s main draw are Brazil’s Liliane Maestrini/Maria Antonelli, Brazil’s Josemari Alves/Fernanda Alves, Brazil’s Carolina Maximo/Ana Patricia Ramos, Germany’s Kim Behrens/Anni Schumacher, Netherlands’ Joy Stubbe/Jolien Sinnema, Spain’s Ester Ribera/Amaranta Fernandez and USA’s Irene Hester/Emily Day.

Emily Day (R) and Irene Hester (USA)

Besides Larsen/Flint, Brazil’s Maximo/Ramos and Germany’s Behrens/Schumacher also had to win two qualifying matches to advance while the other five teams won their single matches to join the group of 32 in the main draw.

Germany’s Behrens/Schumacher upset a higher-seeded team to advance, defeating Norway’s Janne Kongshavn/Victoria Kjolberg in the only three-set match of the second round, 21-10, 19-21 and 15-13 in 44 minutes

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

The $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam features 32 main draw teams per gender. Qualifying tournaments were held on Tuesday for each gender to determine the final eight teams for each 32-team main draw.

On Wednesday and Thursday, teams will be split into eight, four-team pools for each gender to play three matches over the two days. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds starting Friday.

Carolina Maximo (Brazil)

On Friday and Saturday, there will be three rounds of single-elimination with the quarterfinals and semifinals for each gender. The women will hold their quarterfinals on Friday with their semifinals on Saturday.

For the men on Saturday, matches will be the men’s quarterfinals and men’s semifinals. On Sunday at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, the medal matches will be held for each gender. The awarding ceremonies will follow the gold medal match for each gender.

With six teams in the main draw, USA’s qualifiers Irene Hester/Emily Day and Kelley Larsen/Betsi Flint will join USA’s second-seeded Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross, eighth-seeded Olympians Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat, 19th-seeded Lane Carico/Summer Ross and 24th-seeded Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes in the Long Beach main draw.

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.

As part of the second season of the sponsor partnership, the Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball Season Final will also be held again.  Being held in Toronto, Canada, the finale will be held on Sept. 13-18. The event will again feature the top eight teams and four wildcards for each gender from the 2016 FIVB World Tour. This illustrious group will compete for a total purse of $500,000 with the winning men and women’s tandems receiving $100,000 each. The inaugural Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final was held last September in the USA at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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.

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.

Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.


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