Six U.S. Beach Teams Make it to Round of 16

July 02, 2009, 6:19 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 2, 2009) – Six out of seven USA Volleyball beach teams remain after the first round of single-elimination play on Thursday in Stavanger, Norway.

The men’s match of the day pitted the U.S. team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Fla.), ranked 23rd, against compatriots Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), ranked 21st. Gibb and Rosenthal won the match, 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) in 36 minutes, ousting Keenan and Lucena.

“It’s terrible playing American teams,” Gibb said. “We love those guys. We wish they were in final 10 with us. That’s not a fun match.”

Gibb and Rosenthal will play the third-seeded German team of Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann in the Round of 16 on Friday.

The second-seeded U.S. men’s team of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) opened elimination play with a 2-0 (21-9, 21-17) victory in 38 minutes over 35th-seeded Jackson Henriquez and Farid Mussa of Venezuela.

Dalhausser and Rogers will face Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins of Latvia, seeded 31st, on Friday.

Finally, Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.), ranked 17th, advanced after defeating China’s 20th-ranked Penggen Wu and Rui Yin, 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) in 42 minutes.

“It wasn't at all easy, but we played well, and made it our match,” Jennings said. “Our defense was strong, and we succeeded in making it our match.”

Jennings and Fuerbringer will play Canada’s 37th-seeded Christian Redmann and Rich VanHuizen on Friday.

The top-seeded U.S. women’s team of Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) advanced by defeating 37th-seeded Svitlana Baburina and Galyna Osheyko of Ukraine, 2-0 (21-17, 21-10) in 38 minutes. Kessy and Ross will play Greece’s 20th-seeded Vassiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani in the Round of 16 on Friday.

Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.), ranked fourth, still have not lost a set after defeating 26th-ranked Danielle Remmers and Michelle Stiekema of Netherlands, 2-0 (21-18, 21-10) in 37 minutes on Thursday.

“The first set was tough, they played very well,” Branagh said. “We knew they were good; we saw some of the match they played yesterday against Brazil where they lost a close third set. In the second set we were able to take advantage of what we learned in the first set, and to get our momentum going.”

Branagh and Youngs will play Andrezza "Rtvelo" Martins and Christine "Saka" Santanna, the 33rd-seeded team from Georgia, on Friday.

Finally, sixth-seeded Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) had battle with 28th-seeded Marie-Andrée Lessard and Annie Martin of Canada.

Akers and Turner lost the first set 18-21 and were losing the second 19-20; but the duo tied the score at 20 and went on to take the second-set 24-22. Down 11-13 in the third set, Akers and Turner rolled off three straight points, eventually winning 17-15. The match took 61 minutes.

Akers and Turner will play the 10th-ranked German team of Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig on Friday.

Matches can be seen live at Universal Sports.

More information and complete results and photos are available at