B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Intern, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 8, 2008) - Two U.S. women's beach teams are among the four remaining unbeatens at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour event in Dubai.
Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.), playing together for the first time internationally, and Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) both improved to a perfect 3-0 in the tournament after victories at the Jumeirah Beach Park courts on Wednesday.
Walsh and Branagh were big winners in their third-round match, sweeping Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands, 21-14, 21-15. The victory catapults Walsh and Branagh into Round 4 where the squad will meet Canadians Marie-Andrée Lessard and Annie Martin on Thursday.
Not to be outdone however, Boss and Ross defeated the Swiss pair of Sarah Schmocker and Isabelle Forrer in the third round, 21-18, 21-17 and will play Brazil's Maria Clara-Carol in their next match on Thursday.
The winners of both matches will advance to Friday's semifinal round.
While the two highest-ranked U.S. teams were performing as expected, Americans Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Ashley Ivy (Arlington, Texas) had quite a busy day on Wednesday. Facing elimination in their first match after suffering a loss on Tuesday, Fendrick and Ivy knocked off Kazakhstan's Yelena Alenkina and Irina Tsimbalova, 21-17, 21-17, to advance.
With the knowledge that one more loss would knock the pair out of the tournament, Fendrick and Ivy again won a match, this time over Karin Trüssel and Tanya Guerra Arias- Schmocker of Switzerland, 21-16, 21-16. To cap it off, the Americans, seeded 27th, upset ninth-ranked Keizer and Van Iersel 21-16, 21-18, to advance. Fendrick and Ivy will meet seventh-seeded Geeske Banck and Anja Günther of Germany on Thursday, with two more wins assuring a spot in the semifinals.
Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) and Nancy Mason (Belleville, Ill.) also found themselves facing elimination on Wednesday after dropping a match in Round 1. The Americans defeated Georgia's Cristine Saka and Andrezza Rtvelo in an epic battle, 19-21, 21-14, 17-15, to stay alive but Turner and Mason would fall in the next round to Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler of Germany, 21-17, 21-17, and finish 13th in the tournament.
On the men's side, main draw play got underway Wednesday with the lone American team of Sean Scott (Kailua, Hawai'i) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) dropping their first match to the second-ranked tandem of Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil from the Netherlands, 21-15, 19-21, 15-10.
Scott and Lucena rebounded in the second round however, defeating Mykola Babich and Sergiy Mykhaylov of Ukraine, 21-11, 21-18. With one loss already on the board, the Americans will be eliminated if they drop another match in Dubai. On Thursday, Scott and Lucena will meet Brazil's Insfran Benjamin and Sabino Moreira Hevaldo.
Complete results and photos are available on the FIVB Beach web site at www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.