National matchups highlight Las Vegas men’s qualifier

Las Vegas, USA, October 17, 2018 – With several national matchups taking place in the men’s qualification tournament, the eight final main draw spots for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Las Vegas Open presented by p1440 were split between just four nations on Wednesday.

Three of the berths were decided in matchups between teams from the same country and one of them reunited France’s Romain Di Giantommaso/Jeremy Silvestre and Quincy Aye/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat. 

Di Giantommaso and Silvestre came out on top with a 2-0 (22-20, 22-20) victory, but the feeling of sending home their training partners was hard to swallow.

“I hate these games, they’re by far the toughest ones to me,” Di Giantommaso said. “We practice together with them and at the same time I’m really happy we made it, it’s frustrating that they are out. We know how hard they work and we get emotionally connected to them.”

“Both teams have pretty much the same amount of entry points, so we end up playing each other pretty often. When the lists are out, we keep wondering if one team will drop and then hopefully we don’t have to play each other in qualification, but once the match is confirmed we have no choice but to go out there and do our jobs.”

Another French team made it to the main draw as Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson took Argentineans Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso down in two sets 2-0 (21-18, 29-27).

Two teams from the host country also had to battle for a main draw spot and Billy Kolinske and Miles Evans advanced after a hard-fought three-set 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 16-14) win over Eric Zaun and Avery Drost.

“We just tried to put the pressure on them and make them earn their points,” Evans commented afterwards. “It was about staying confident and playing our game, nothing too crazy. But it’s not easy, it’s win or go home. It’s a really stressful game, I was freaking out the whole time. And they’re good friends and they want just as bad as we do, so it’s a difficult match for sure.”

Evans and partner Kolinske defeated fellow Americans Zaun and Drost to qualify

Three other American tandems found their way to the main draw – Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb, Reid Priddy/Jeremy Casebeer and Sean Rosenthal/Chase Budinger.

Yang Li and Jiaxin Wu also advanced after they posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) victory over fellow Chinese Zhuoxin Li and Chaowei Zhou. Poland’s Jakub Szalankiewicz and Maciej Rudol claimed the final spot with a 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-11) win over Canada’s William Hoey and Ivan Reka.

The main draw starts on Thursday with 32 men’s teams competing in the famous American resort city. 

The Las Vegas Open is a partnership between the FIVB and the p1440 event series, an American domestic tour created from the vision of three-time Olympic gold medallist and one-time Olympic bronze medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings, and husband Casey Jennings. The series, which allows international players to compete at it, held its inaugural event, the p1440 San Jose Invitational, from September 28-30 and Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Martins Plavins and Canada’s Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson were the winners.

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