U.S. Beach Teams Go Undefeated at World University Championship

July 03, 2008, 1:38 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org       

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 2, 2008) – Four U.S. teams went undefeated on Wednesday, the first day of competition at the Fourth World University Championship for beach volleyball in Hamburg, Germany.

International beach volleyball veterans Joey Dykstra (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Mark Van Zwieten (Pompano Beach, Fla.) led the charge with two-set victories over teams from Slovakia and Brazil. They face Turkey on Thursday in their final pool-play match.

In 2005, Dykstra and Van Zwieten won the silver medal at the FIVB U-19 Beach Volleyball Championship in France.

Unlike some international volleyball events, the World University Championship consists of pool play in groups of four with every team coming out of pool to a double-elimination playoff, which also begins on Thursday. There are 31 men’s teams and 28 women’s from 23 countries represented; the biggest field in the history of the tournament.

The other U.S. men’s team in the tournament – Clint Coe (Long Beach, Calif.) and Duncan Budinger (Encinitas, Calif.) – beat a Czech Republic team in two, and then got a bye as they are in the only three-team pool. They will face a team from China on Thursday.

On the women’s side, Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Keegan Featherstone (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) struggled in their first match against a tall team from New Zealand, but pulled out a win in two sets.  They also beat a team from Japan on Wednesday and will face Canada on Thursday.

Olivia Waldowski (Irvine, Calif.) and Kari Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.) dropped the only set of the day for the United States in their first match against Spain. However, they rallied to win in three. In the afternoon, they defeated Japan to make it 7-0 for the United States.  They will play Estonia on Thursday.

For more information, visit the event web site at http://hsp-hh-alt.sport.uni-hamburg.de/wubc2008/neu/en/.