USA’s Day/Hochevar on top after day one of Xiamen Open main draw

Xiamen, China, October 9, 2014 – USA’s Emily Day and
Brittany Hochevar come out on top of the all American clash to top their pool
after day one of the main draw at the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
Xiamen Open on Thursday. The $150,000 Open is FIVB’s third tournament in China this
year and the second consecutive year the World Tour has been to Xiamen.

Day/Hochevar met some very familiar faces during
their opening match of the Xiamen Open, USA’s Allison Nichole Daley and Heather
Hughes. The two pairs are playing together for the first time this year and it
was Daley/Hughes who took the first set.

Day/Hochevar turned the match around with some big
serving by Hochevar and powerful slams from both partners to secure the win 2-1
(18-21, 21-19, 15-11).

“It’s funny because we’ve played with each other, we’ve
played against each other. It’s always fun though to play against USA and
battle it out, we knew it was going to be a close game and it was,” said Day.

“The last three events I’ve played with all three of
those athletes so it’s quite unique and we know each other so, so well. We’ve
played a full season of AVP against each other and with each other. Of course
we hope they get out of the pool and do well on their side but you don’t want
to see them until medal rounds usually,” said Hochevar.

In Day/Hochevar’s second match of the day they met qualifiers
Tina Turnerova and Gabriela Tomašeková from Slovakia. The spirited Slovakians
pulled out a good performance in the first set, but it was not quite enough to
get ahead.

The US pair’s strength began to take control in the
second set and their 2-0 (21-16, 21-9) win places them top of Pool E after two
matches. They will face Poland’s Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszczynska in
the final pool match on Friday.

“It’s always interesting when you’re dealing with
elements like this with the wind and new teams that you haven’t seen before and
even from our side, working out a lot of communication stuff,” said Hochevar.

“It’s important for us to go one ball at a time. As you
progress through a tournament one point at a time seems too big and you just
have to go one contact at a time and that’s important for any level whether it’s
an Open or a Grand Slam or a domestic tour event, it’s important that we don’t
take any ball lightly,” said Hochevar.

get ahead in Pool F

Switzerland’s Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré are
enjoying the luxury of ending the first day of main draw in top position after
earning two straight set wins.
The Swiss pair first beat qualifiers Laura
Bloem and Marloes Wesselink from the Netherlands in their morning match on
Xiamen’s Guanyinshan Gold Beach, 2-0 (21-17,21-16).

We had some good rallies and some good
block defence and I think that we put pressure of them with the serve. They
also made some good serving, but we kept the pressure and that’s why we won,”
said Vergé-Dépré.

Their second match was against Poland’s Dorota Strag
and Karolina Baran which they closed in an efficient 16 minutes 2-0
(21-18, 21-11).

“It was really windy so we tried to play the ball less
high so that the wind couldn’t take the ball. That was a bit funny really, but
we are happy that we could win the game finally,” said Vergé-Dépré.

Forrer/Vergé-Dépré are no strangers on the World Tour but
have only made it into the final 16 once this year at the FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam.
The Swiss girls will face USA’s Tealle Hunkus and Kendra Vanzwieten in their
last pool match on Friday.

“Now it is a different situation for us. Normally we
are third in the pool, now we’re pool head. We knew it was the first day and it
was important to win against the lower ranked team in your pool and that’s what
we did. We did our job and so tomorrow we’re going to see what’s going to come
against the Americans and of course we will try to finish up first in our pool,”
said Forrer.

With the Grand Slam portion
of the 2014 FIVB World Tour now complete, the tour continues after Xiamen with
four double-gender FIVB Open events along with one men-only FIVB Open
tournament.  The tour will travel to Argentina
for the FIVB Parana Open (Oct. 28-Nov. 2) before heading to Doha for the
men-only FIVB Qatar Open (Nov. 4-8). India will then host the double-gender
FIVB Vizag Open (Nov. 25-30), before the 2014 calendar comes to a close in
South Africa with the double-gender FIVB Mangaung Open (Dec. 9-14).


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