Corrientes, Argentina, May 25, 2013—With clear skies and a sumptuous sun shining overhead, the men’s competition second round Saturday morning has set the field for this afternoon’s quarterfinals at the $440,000 FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam double-gender tournament. Before the men’s quarters, the women will play their quarterfinals before ending the day with their semis and medal matches. On Sunday, the men’s semifinals and medal matches for the men’s competition will be held. The event being held for the first time in Corrientes and is being played at the purpose-built site that is located on the sands of Arazati Beach – Costanera Sur.
Advancing to meet in this afternoon’s men’s quarterfinals will be Germany’s Sebastian Dollinger/Stefan Windscheif vs. Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves playing compatriots Bruno Schmidt/Pedro Salgado, Italy’s Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo vs. Poland’s Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek and Brazil’s Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho meeting USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson.
The lighted stadium court has been built to seat 7,500 spectators. The women’s semifinals and medal matches will be held later today and tonight. Play will start at 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday for the men’s final four matches.
Displaying the intensity of the competition and the quality of the teams, four of the eight second-round elimination matches needed three sets to determine the winner.
Starting at 9 a.m., the first four matches saw Germany’s Dollinger/Windscheif defeat Czech Republic’s surprising 32-seeded Robert Kufa/Jan Hadrava, 21-12, 21-17 in 32 minutes, Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins topped Austria’s Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, 21-18, 29-27 in 47 minutes, Brazil’s Felipe/Goncalves held on to defeat Netherlands’ Daan Spijkers/Christiaan Varenhorst, 16-21, 21-18, 15-10 in 50 minutes and Brazil’s Schmidt/Salgado held off Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler/Jonas Weingart, 21-18, 26-24 in 44 minutes.
In the second half of the round’s matches, Italy’s Nicolai/Lupo came from behind to defeat Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, 17-21, 21-16, 16-14 in 52 minutes, Poland’s Mariusz/Fijalek also had to come back to finally overcome Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, 18-21, 21-16, 15-7 in 50 minutes, Brazil’s Ricardo/Filho held off Italian brothers Paolo Ingrosso/Matteo Ingrosso, 21-18, 21-19 in 44 minutes and USA’s Gibb/Patterson battled hard to get by Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, 24-22, 16-21, 15-12 in 54 minutes.
The losers in the second round of elimination will leave Corrientes with official ninth-place finishes at the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam.
In the quarterfinal matchups this afternoon, Germany’s Dollinger/Windscheif has a 1-0 series lead over Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins as the Latvians are a new team this year. While practicing together back home, the two Brazilian teams have never met as Felipe/Goncalves are a new team of 22-year olds.
In the third of the quarters, Poland’s Prudel/Fijalek has a 2-1 series lead over Italy’s Nicolai/Lupo with the Polish team winning the most recent match on May 3 in Shanghai. The final quarterfinal will be another first-time meeting between two teams with a veteran player and a new partner. Brazil’s Filho is 22 and Ricardo is 38 while USA’s Gibb is 37 and Patterson 33 has played mostly domestically in the USA. Both teams have played just three FIVB World Tour events together while Ricardo has been in 190 career tournaments, Filho just six total and Gibb has 73 on his resume and Patterson 12 career international events.
USA’s Gibb/Patterson/Patterson, who won the season’s first FIVB Grand Slam in Shanghai earlier this month, broke open a very tight match against Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel who were playing in just their first tournament of the season as Alison has been sidelined with a finger injury.
Gibb, who defeated Brazil’s talented Alison/Emanuel twice last season on the way to winning the 2013 FIVB World Tour season championship with his former teammate Sean Rosenthal, said after the win over Brazil, “Alison and Emanuel are a great team and just to play against them is an honor. The difference for us in this match was my new teammate. Casey played great. He gave me great sets when the passes weren’t always thag good. He makes the game much easier for me with his great hand-setting.”
The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900. The women’s medal matches will be held on today and the men’s medal matches on Sunday. The FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will be the 286th FIVB men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1989 and the 248th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.