U.S. Beach Teams Move On to Marseille

July 21, 2009, 6:52 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 21, 2009) – Four USA Volleyball women’s beach teams and three men’s teams are in Marseille, France for the SWATCH FIVB Grand Slam this week.

The US$600,000 World Series 13 Grand Chelem, the third of four straight Grand Slam tournaments, is the first “pure” single-elimination international beach volleyball event in nearly eight years.

Competition began Monday with the women’s qualification. Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Ashley Ivy (Arlington, Tex.), who were ranked second in qualifying, received a bye straight to the first round, which was played Tuesday.

Fendrick and Ivy, ranked 25th in the Main Draw, defeated 40th-seeded Great Britain’s Lucy Boulton and Denise Johns, 2-1 (21-14, 17-21, 15-13) in 50 minutes. Fendrick and Ivy will face Germany’s eighth-seeded Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig in Wednesday’s second round.

Also competing in Tuesday’s second round will be third-seeded Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), who will play Germany’s 30th-ranked Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau.

Fourth-ranked Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) - coming off a victory at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open - will play Norway’s 29th-seeded Janne Kongshavn and Kathrine Maaseide. Eleventh-seeded Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyra Tuner (Fort Meyers Beach, Fla.) will take on Canada’s 22nd-ranked Marie-Andrée Lessard and Annie Martin.

There are no U.S. teams competing in the first round of the men’s tournament. The teams in the second round are still waiting to find out whom they will play on Thursday.

Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), who won the men's title at the AVP tournament in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on Sunday, are seeded 16th. Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) are ranked fourth. Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) are seeded eighth.

More information and a complete list of entries are available on the FIVB beach volleyball web site at www.fivb.org/en/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.