Vienna, Austria, August 4, 2017 - Teams from Canada, The Netherlands and Spain posted seed-break-through wins here Friday to advance to the men’s quarter-finals at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.
Posting the biggest break-through were Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk as the 13th-seeded Canadians posted a 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-13) win in 55 minutes to eliminate fifth-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil, the reigning Olympic and world champions. It was only the second win in 10 FIVB World Tour matches for Saxton and Schalk over the Brazilians.
“We stayed strong,” said Saxton after the match. “We didn’t let them get a big rally against us. This is up there [for biggest victories]. This is our second time in the quarterfinals at the world championships, and they are the reigning Olympic champions. This feels awesome, but we are already focused on the next one. We just beat the team with the most experience in a high-pressure situation, and if we can beat them, we can beat anyone.”
Christiaan Varenhorst, who placed second in the 2015 world championships after losing the gold medal match to Alison and Bruno in The Hague, and “new” partner Maarten van Garderen advanced as the 45th-seeded posted a 2-1 (21-13, 21-23, 15-13) win in 52 minutes over 24th-seeded Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez of Cuba. The Cubans were fifth-place finishers at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The US$1-million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 will feature six matches (four men and two women) Saturday at the state-of-the art venue at Donauinsel with the focal point of the action and entertainment being held with a picturesque view of the Danube River and the lively atmosphere of the Beach Village.
A total of 216-matches will be contested over a 10-day period at the world championships where the winning men’s and women’s teams will each split the $60,000 first-place prizes. The women’s medal matches will be played Saturday and the men’s Sunday. With 96 teams from 40 countries in the competition, pool play highlights the first six days of play with the featured court being the 10,000-seat Red Bull Beach Arena.