Ten countries advance from the first round of qualification in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 7, 2017 - Teams from ten countries made their ways to the second round of the qualification tournament of the $600,000 Fort Lauderdale Major, the international 2017 Beach Volleyball season opener, this Tuesday morning in Florida.

During the afternoon, 32 teams from 17 different nations will compete for the last eight spots in each gender in Wednesday’s opening rounds. The Fort Lauderdale event is the first of four Swatch Major Series events on the 2017 FIVB World Tour calendar. Croatia, Switzerland and Germany will host the others.

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One of the early matches of men’s tournament featured two teams from France, with No. 17 seeds Romain Di Giantommaso and Maxime Thiercy overcoming fellow countrymen Youssef Krou and Quincy Aye, the No. 16 seeds, in three sets 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 15-13). The French tandem will now face top-seeded Brazilians Alvaro Filho and Saymon Barbosa.

Also advancing from the first round were Switzerland’s Nico Beeler/Marco Krattiger, Norway’s Svein Oddmund Solhaug/Daniel Bergerud, Czech Republic’s Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner, USA’s Sean Rosenthal/Trevor Crabb, Germany’s Bennet Poniewaz/David Poniewaz and Jonathan Erdmann/Armin Dollinger and Israel’s Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman.

In the women’s tournament, the biggest upset of the first round was Japan’s No. 23 seeds Akiko Hasegawa and Azusa Futami defeating France’s No. 10 seeds Alexandra Jupiter and Ophélie Lusson 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-13). The Asians will match up the Netherlands’ Marleen van Iersel and Manon Nummerdor-Flier in the second round.

“It was very close and it feels so good that we managed to win it”, said the 31-year-old Hasegawa. “We are just starting our Olympic project focusing on Tokyo 2020 and I now have a new partner and a new coach. There is a lot ahead of us yet.”

Giving ten Japan's Azusa Futami (left) with Akiko Hasegawa

Besides them and fellow Japanese Samaa Miyagawa/Megumi Murakami, six other teams also won their matches and advanced to the second round: USA’s Kimberly DiCello/Emily Stockman and Kelly Claes/Kelly Reeves, Switzerland’s Nicole Eiholzer/Dunja Gerson, Serbia’s Milena Matic/Marija Milosevic, Spain’s Amaranta Fernández Navarro/Angela Lobato and Czech Republic’s Magdalena Dostalova/Karolina Rehackova.


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