Beach Volleyball Re-cap – Xiamen Grand SlamCanada had a strong showing at the FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam in China, with two top-ten finishes.
On the men’s side, Ben Saxton (Calgary, AB) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB), were ninth. They went 1-2, beating Norway and losing to Greece and Spain. Then they went on to beat a German team in Round 1, and in Round 2 lost 2-1 to the 20th ranked Stiekema-Varenhorst of the Netherlands, who ended up fourth.
Jamie Broder (Victoria, BC) and Kristina Valjas (Toronto, ON) also finished in the ninth place position in China. They went 1-2, beating Japan and losing to USA and Germany. Then in Round #1 they defeated Gioria-Giombini (ITA) 2-0. In Round 2, they lost 2-0 to the 6th ranked Holtwick-Semmler (GER).
"We had a bit of a shaky start in pool play, but maintaining a positive attitude, staying focused and taking things as they come, one moment at a time, helped us overcome the struggles we encountered. Our final pool play game against Japan went very smoothly, and set us up for the playoffs where we faced Italy in the first round," explained Valjas. "Our game plan was to come out aggressively from the beginning and take control of the match. We definitely managed to do that, even in the intense, windy conditions. We are proud of our result as a team and our ability to persevere!"
April Ross and Kerri Walsh of the United States held off world No. 1 Taiana Lima and Talita Da Rocha Antunes of Brazil in three sets in Xiamen on Sunday to win back-to-back FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam titles. On Saturday, Alison Cerutti and Vitor Felipe of Brazil rallied past reigning world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands to win their first Grand Slam title together.
Another Canadian men's team (Hatch-Redmann) lost their qualification match and did not advance to the main draw.
The women are now at the Phuket Open in Thailand, Oct. 29 to Nov. 3, 2013.
The final FIVB tournament of the season is in Durban Open, South Africa, Dec. 11 to 15, 2013
Additional Info: fivb.org