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Kessy, Ross Join Brazilians in Semis at Worlds

July 03, 2009, 7:36 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. (July 3, 2009) – The USA Volleyball beach team of Jen Kessy and April Ross, along with three teams from Brazil, have made it to the semifinals of the SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway.

Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), who are seeking their third-straight medal in Stavanger after taking the gold in 2007 and claiming a bronze in 2008, advanced from the Round of 16 with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-12) victory in 32 minutes over 20th-seeded Maria Tsiartsiani and Vassiliki Arvanti of Greece on Friday.

Kessy and Ross will face Brazil’s fifth-ranked Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly in Saturday’s first semifinal. The second match will be an all-Brazilian affair between second-ranked Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli and third-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca.

The women’s medal matches will also be played on Saturday.

In Thursday’s quarterfinals, Kessy and Ross ousted sixth-seeded compatriots Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.), 2-1 (17-21, 21-12, 15-9) in 51 minutes. Akers and Turner had advanced by defeating the 10th-ranked German team of Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig, 2-1 (17-21, 23-21, 15-11) in 61 minutes in the Round of 16.

“Our three-set match with Canada yesterday really prepared us for today's match,” Turner said following the defeat of Germany. “Though these matches were very different, both teams are very good with the ball. The Canadian team (that Akers and Turner beat on Thursday) uses every square inch of the field, while this German team is a physical strong team, playing hard.”

“Every team left in the world championships are capable of winning the title,” Kessy said. “So we know that we have to be at our best.”

Two USA Volleyball men’s teams have advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinal.

Second-seeded Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), the defending world champions (2007), gold medal winners at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and 2008 Stavanger world tour gold medal winners, won their second elimination match with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-11) victory in 34 minutes over 31st-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins of Latvia.

Dalhausser admitted that he and Rogers had not forgotten the loss the suffered to Samoilovs and Sorokins in the first match of the 2008 Beijing Games.

“We had some extra inspiration today. We wanted to revenge the loss we had in pool play to the Latvians in last year’s Olympics, and we did,” Dalhausser said. “We went out hard, and managed to get a good start. I am satisfied that we didn’t let them into the match.”

Dalhausser and Rogers will play Spain’s 15th-seeded Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira Collado on Saturday. The men’s semifinal and medal matches will be played on Sunday.

Seventeenth-seeded Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) of the United States continued their impressive world championship run with a 2-0 (21-10, 21-13) win in 36 minutes over Canada’s 37th-seeded Christian Redmann and Rich VanHuizen.

“We had a game plan and we executed it perfectly,” Fuerbringer said. “They are a good team, but sometimes when you do what you want to do you get scores like that and it’s nice.”

Fuerbringer and Jennings will play Brazil’s No. 1-seeded Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques in Saturday’s quarterfinal.

Germany’s third-seeded Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann eliminated 23rd-seeded Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) in 47 minutes.

Matches can be seen live at Universal Sports.

More information and complete results and photos are available at http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.

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