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Gibb, Rosenthal Advance to Adelaide Semifinal

March 28, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 28, 2008) - The U.S. beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal has advanced to Saturday's semifinals of the Adelaide Australia Open, the first event on the 2008 SWATCH FIVB World Tour. In Friday's third round, Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), seeded 18th, defeated China's Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu (21-15, 21-14), who are seeded seventh. In the fourth round, the U.S. duo won a hard-fought match (21-18, 19-21, 17-15) against Germany's 14th-ranked Julius Brink and Christoph Dieckmann in 1 hour, 4 minutes. Gibb and Rosenthal were facing the German team for the first-time since Brink and Dieckmann had defeated them in the final of the 2006 SWATCH FIVB World Tour stop in Vitoria, Brazil.

"We were not thinking of any revenge for our last meeting," Rosenthal told the FIVB. "We just play one match at a time and we were fortunate to rally to defeat the Germans. We fell behind twice by a big margin in the final set and were able to come back to tie the Germans. We had a great rally to save a match point and had enough left to out-last our opponents. It was a great match between two quality teams. The Germans play hard and never quit. Thank goodness we won that one."

Gibb and Rosenthal are second among the U.S. men's team in the race for Olympic qualifying points. Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), the 2007 world champions, are in front. The United States will send two men's beach teams to the 2008 Olympic Games. Gibb and Rosenthal must wait for Friday's consolation matches to be played to find out who they will face in the semifinals. The U.S. men's team of Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.), ranked 27th, continues to stun the field after advancing from the country quota tournament, through qualifying and all the way to the third round of the main draw. Although Fuerbringer/Jennings lost in the third round on Friday to Brink and Dieckmann (16-21, 19-21), the duo came back in consolation to defeat the No. 1-seeded Russian team of Igor Kolodinsky and Dmitri Barsouk (21-18, 21-16), knocking them from the tournament.

Fuerbringer/Jennings will face China's Xu and Wu in their first match on Saturday. Dalhausser and Rogers, ranked second in Adelaide, remained alive in the consolation bracket by winning three matches Friday after falling to Gibb and Rosenthal on Thursday. They will face 17th-seeded Bram Ronnes and Emiel Boersma of Netherlands in their first match on Friday. The U.S. men's team of Stein Metzger (Honolulu, Hawai'i) and Mark Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.), seeded 28th, were eliminated after a loss to Xu and Wu in the consolation bracket on Friday.

In the women's tournament, fourth-seeded Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) are the only U.S. team still playing, although they are now in the consolation bracket. Branagh/Youngs lost to fifth-seeded Talita Antunes and Renata Ribeiro of Brazil in Friday's third round. They came back to defeat Germany's 15th-seeded Rieke Brink-Abeler and Hella Jurich in consolation and will play Germany's Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau, ranked eighth, in their first match on Saturday. The U.S. women's teams of seventh-ranked Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and 14th-seeded Tyra Turner (Fort Meyers Beach, Fla.) and Rachel Wacholder (Laguna Beach, Calif.) both lost in consolation and were eliminated from the tournament.

More information is available on the FIVB beach web site at www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp'sm=12.
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