As the women’s competition drew to a close at the Stavanger Grand Slam the podium places were shared by a team very familiar with FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour success, one who is getting used to life there and one that was there for the first time ever.
US Olympians April Ross and Kerri Walsh claimed beat Spaniards Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo to win gold, while Slovakia’s Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova took bronze, the first time any Slovakian team has won a World Tour medal.
The men’s competition is up to the semifinals where two teams are appearing for the first time; Kazakhstan’s Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko and Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson.
USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal and Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho complete the quartet.
Third time a charm as Ross and Walsh claim gold at Stavanger Grand Slam
April Ross and Kerri Walsh claimed their third gold medals of the 2014 World Tour when they defeated Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo in the Stavanger gold medal match on Saturday.
The US pair beat the Spaniards 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) to add Stavanger gold to their wins at the Fuzhou Open and Moscow Grand Slam from earlier in the year.
The pair have only been together since the 2013 Gstaad Grand Slam, but since then they have now claimed World Tour gold at five tournaments.
“The way my heart has been racing all day and the way we battled all week it is such a culmination of our hard through work through the ups and downs,” Walsh said. “We played steady; we played with fire and a lot of heart.”
Kazakhstan’s Sidorenko and Dyachenko set new best on way to Stavanger semis
Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko twice surpassed their best ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour result by reaching the Stavanger Grand Slam semifinals.
The pair will take on Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho in the semifinals on Sunday having beaten their fellow Brazilians Emanuel Rego and Pedro Salgado 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) in the quarterfinals and Austria’s Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl in the second elimination round
In the second semifinal USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal face Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson, who are also into their first ever Grand Slam semifinals.
“We played three games today and we progressed in every game,” Dyachenko said.
“Our opponents had a very hard match before that’s why maybe it was so easy for us.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam runs from Wednesday, June 25 until Sunday June 29. It is the eighth event and the fourth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features nine Grand Slams and 11 Open tournaments.
The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Gstaad Grand Slam which runs from July 9-13.