Following two very busy weeks in China and another in Mexico this past week, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) will now see a week off from competition in its 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Last week’s double-gender US$150,000 FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open was filled with sunshine and medals as Latvia, Italy and host country Mexico won the men’s medals and two teams from Brazil and one from China captured the podium in the women’s competition. The FIVB Puerto Vallarta was the third event of the 2014 FIVB World Tour as well as being the first of 10 FIVB Open tournaments on the 20014 calendar.
Winning the their first FIVB World Tour gold medal of the season, Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins stopped Italy’s twin brothers Paolo Ingrosso/Matteo Ingrosso in two sets as the powerful 2013 FIVB World Ranking leaders won their fourth gold as a team. Italy’s Ingrosso brothers recorded their first FIVB final four and medal. The men’s bronze medal in Puerto Vallarta went to Mexico’s home country favorites Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen in three sets over Germany’s Eric Koreng/Finn Dittelbach. It was not only the first medal for Mexico’s.Ontiveros/Virgen, it was the first final four in the history of the FIVB World Tour for Mexico.
On the women’s side at the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, in an all-Brazilian gold-medal finale, Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas won the gold medal over compatriots Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli in two sets. It was the first career FIVB World Tour gold medal for the winners. In a grueling three-set bronze medal match, China’s Chen Xue/Xinji Xia held off Germany’s Julie Suda/Chantal Laboureur. The two medals won gives Brazil an amazing 352 total medals out of 263 events in the history of the FIVB World Tour.
The FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open gold medal winners in each gender have taken over the early lead in the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour point standings. Gold in each FIVB open event in 20014 earns $11,000 for the team to split with $8,000 split by each silver medal team, $6,000 split by each of the two bronze medalists and $4,500 split by each of the fourth place teams.
The FIVB World Tour calendar has this week off before moving to Europe for the women’s-only FIVB Prague Open in the Czech Republic from May 21-15. The following week, the men and women are back together again in FIVB Anapa Open in Russia from May 27-June 1.
The top three teams in each gender also received 250, 225 and 200 points respectively on the 2014 FIVB World Tour. Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins has 1,570 points to lead the men’s 2014 FIVB World Tour point standings followed by Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai with 1,300, Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Pedro Salgado with 860, Italy’s Ingrosso twins with 730 and leading a group of four tied for fifth in points in Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen.
For the women, the two teams in the Puerto Vallarta gold medal match top the list with Brazil’s Bednarczuk/Seixas first with 1,380 points, Brazil’s Juliana/ Antonelli second with 1,260, tied for second is China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue with 1,260, fourth is Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima, and tied for fifth with 1,040 points each are China’s Xue/Xia and Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst.
Based on percentage, statistically, in men’s action after three events, Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai are 13-1 (92.9% winning percentage), Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik is next with a 6-1 record for one event and a 85.7% winning percentage while third is Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins with a 17-4 record (81.0 percent).
For the women to date, USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross are 11-1 to start the season (91.7%) while next is Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst at 10-2 (83.3%) and Australia’s Nicole Laird/Mariafe Artacho at 5-1 (83.3%).