Two U.S. Women's Teams Advance in Brazil

April 22, 2009, 4:45 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone:  719-228-6800        

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 22, 2009) – Two U.S. women’s beach teams have advanced to the third round of the KIA Open, part of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

Top-seeded Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) swept their first two matches, defeating 32nd-seeded Luana Madeira and Liliane Maestrini of Brazil (21-7, 21-16) in 35 minutes. In the second round, Kessy and Ross topped Georgia’s 17th-ranked Andrezza "Rtvelo" Martins and Christine "Saka" Santanna (21-13, 21-16) in 32 minutes.

Kessy and Ross will face Austria’s Sara Montagnolli and Barbara Hansel, ranked 25th, in Thursday’s third round.

Second-seeded Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) beat Mexico’s 31st seeded Xitlali Herrera and Rosario Reyes (21-12, 21-17) in 37 minutes in the first round. They came back and defeated Greece’s Vassiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani, ranked 15th, (21-18, 21-11) in 39 minutes in the second round.

Branagh and Youngs will play Switzerland’s Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr, ranked 23rd in the third round.

The U.S. women’s team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Ashley Ivy (Arlington, Texas), ranked 10th, lost its first two matches and has been eliminated from the tournament.

In men’s qualifying action on Wednesday, the U.S. team of Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) advanced to the main draw, which starts Thursday.

The team opened qualifying by defeating Norway’s Trygve Leite and Magne Kobbevik (21-6, 21-17) in 36 minutes. Then they moved on to beat the Czech Republic’s Jan Dumek and Martin Tichy (21-14, 21-15) in 43 minutes.

For more information, visit the FIVB beach volleyball site at