U.S. Beach Teams Advance in Guatemala

April 05, 2009, 3:03 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 4, 2009) – After two days of play, teams from the United States have advanced to the semifinals of the Guatemala Beach Volleyball Tournament, the second leg of the 2009 NORCECA Circuit.

NORCECA LogoIn the men’s competition, Americans Hans Stolfus (Solon, Iowa) and Anthony Medel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Puerto Ricans Roberto Rodriguez and Orlando Irizarry advanced to the semifinals as the top seeds.

Stolfus/Medel won their morning match over Luis Morales and Rafael Vargas of El Salvador (21-14, 21-11) and then defeated Dominicans Yewddys Perez and German Recio (21-12, 21-14).

Rodriguez/Irizarry won against Jorge Bolaños and Erick Garrido of Guatemala (21-15, 21-19) and then battled to down Abdel Otero and Joseph Gil of Puerto Rico (21-12, 22-24, 15-10).

They will be joined in the semifinals by Cubans Sergio Gonzalez and Karell Peña and Puerto Ricans Otero/Gil.

On the women’s side, the United States’ Beth Van Fleet (Tampa, Fla.) and Saralyn Smith (Key West, Fla.) and Cubans Nirian Sinal and Kirenia Ballar both won their two matches on Saturday. Others made the semifinals via the losers’ bracket under the double-elimination system.

Van Fleet/Smith first defeated Maria Orellana and Anna Ramirez of Guatemala (21-13, 21-15) and then downed Mexicans Vanessa Virgen and Diana Estrada (21-15, 21-19).

Sinal/Ballar won (21-10, 21-10) over Blanca Resino and Susana Alvarado of Guatemala and then beat Costa Ricans Ingrid Morales and Natalia Alfaro (21-11, 21-11).  Orellana-Ramirez and Virgen-Estrada also advanced to the semis.