Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 19, 2008) - U.S. beach volleyball teams are taking Paris by storm this weekend as four women's teams have advanced directly from pool play to the second round while four men's teams remain alive in pool play at the US$600,000 Henkel Grand Chelem, a SWATCH FIVB Grand Slam event.
Leading the way among the U.S. women was the top-ranked team of Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Santa Clara, Calif.), who won all three of their pool play matches without dropping a set and will play Austria's 18th-seeded Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger in Friday's second round.
Fourth-seeded Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) also breezed through pool play without a set loss and will play Georgia's Cristine Santanna and Andrezza das Chagas, ranked 23rd, on Friday.
Seventh-seeded Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) will face Australia's 12th-ranked Tamsin Barnett and Natalie Cook. Tyra Turner (Fort Meyers Beach, Fla.) and Rachel Wacholder (Laguna Beach, Calif.), seeded 11th, will face Belgium's Liesbet Van Breedam and Liesbeth Mouha, seeded 20th.
Turner and Wacholder received a wild card entry directly into the main draw in Paris and so did not have to play in the qualifier bracket.
In men's bracket pool play, the third-ranked team of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) won both of their first two matches without losing a set. The 12th-ranked team of Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) also won their first two matches.
The eighth-seeded U.S. men's team of Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) was upset in its second pool-play match by Georgia's Renato Gomes and Jorge Terceiro, seeded 24th, and will need to beat France's ninth-ranked Guilherm Deulofeu and Yannick Salvetti on Friday if it hopes to advance.
Stein Metzger (Honolulu, Hawai'i) and Mark Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.), who had to play in the qualifier to advance to the main draw and are ranked 18th, also went 1-1 on Thursday and must do well Friday against Latvia's Aleksandrs Samoilous and Martins Plavins, seeded 31st.
A victory at a Grand Slam event is worth 30 percent more points toward Olympic qualifying than SWATCH FIVB open events and the prize money is also greater.
There is more information on the FIVB beach volleyball site at www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.