U.S. Duo Advances to Semifinals in Australia

Jan. 16, 2009, 5:02 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 16, 2009) – The U.S. beach volleyball team of Tara Roenicke (Alta Loma, Calif.) and Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.) have advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.

On Saturday (Jan. 17), the team will face Linn Lehre and Mari Aase Hole of Norway for a chance to play for the gold medal. Australians Taliqua Clancy and Eliza Karley Hynes will play fellow Australians Zina Stone and Mariafe Artacho in the other semifinal.

Roenicke and Ross went 3-0 in pool play, beating Clancy and Hynes, 2-0 (21-14, 21-16), China’s Chunxia Chen and Yuanyuan Lv, 2-0 (22-20, 21-13) and British team of Paige Nelmes and Megan Viggars 2-0 (21-11, 21-11).

In their closest set of the tournament thus far, Roenicke and Ross were down 17-20 in the first game against China, but Ross served the final five points for the victory.

The beach volleyball tournament is taking place at Maroubra Beach and the medal matches will be played on Jan. 18. The fifth Australian Youth Olympic Festival is hosting 1,500 athletes from 25 nations at the Olympic village at Homebush in Sydney.

The web site for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival is at http://ayof09.olympics.com.au/.