U.S. Beach Teams Begin World Champs on Friday

June 25, 2009, 3:46 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. (June 25. 2009) – Led by defending men’s champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, eight U.S. beach volleyball teams begin play on Friday and Saturday at the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway.

Featuring US$1-million in prize money, the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships will have 48 men’s and 48 women’s teams competing on the courts on the Vaagen Harbour docks.

After pool play is completed, the single-elimination competition begins July 2 as the top two finishing teams in each group advance along with the eight-best third-place tandems based on match record, and point/set ratios  The women’s medal matches will be July 4 followed by the men’s podium placement matches July 5. The winning teams will share the $60,000 first-place prizes.

Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) are the defending 2007 men’s world champions and the 2008 Olympic gold medalists. However, the three-time women’s champions, the United States’ Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.), will not be competing. May-Treanor continues to recover from a torn Achilles tendon injured while she was practicing for Dancing with the Stars and Walsh recently gave birth to her first child.

Among the teams looking to take the place of May-Treanor and Walsh are the U.S. pair of Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), the top-ranked team in the women’s bracket. They will open play on Friday against 48th-ranked Ragnhild Aas and Siri Bjørkesett. On Sunday, Kessy and Ross will go up against the United States’ 25th-seeded Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Ashley Ivy (Arlington, Texas). Also in the pool are Latvia’s 24th-ranked Inese Jursone and Inguna Minusa.

Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques of Brazil are the top seeds in the men’s bracket with Dalhausser and Rogers ranked second. That puts Dalhausser and Rogers in the same pool with their U.S. teammates and fellow 2008 Olympians Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Fla.), who are ranked 23rd. The two U.S. teams will play on Monday. Dalhausser and Rogers will open on Saturday against Angola’s Abreu Morais and Mario Silva, ranked 47th. Gibb and Rosenthal will face New Zealand’s 26th-ranked Kirk Lochhead and Jason Pitman

The other U.S. men’s teams competing are Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.), ranked 17th, and the duo of Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.), who replaces Mark Williams (Los Angeles0 due to injury, seeded 21st.

The other U.S. women’s teams competing are 2008 Olympians Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.), who are ranked fourth, and Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.), who are seeded sixth.

More information, including results and photos, are available on the FIVB beach web site at http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.

Matches can be seen live on Universal Sports.

U.S. Schedule for FIVB World Championships
Pool Play
Pool B
June 27: Rogers-Dalhausser USA [2] vs. Morais-Silva ANG [47]
June 27: Gibb-Rosenthal USA [23] vs. Lochhead-Pitman NZL [26]
June 29: Rogers-Dalhausser USA [2] vs. Gibb-Rosenthal USA [23]
July 1: Gibb-Rosenthal USA [23] vs. Morais-Silva ANG [47]
July 1: Rogers-Dalhausser USA [2] vs. Lochhead-Pitman NZL [26]

Pool D
June 27: Lucena-Keenan USA [21] vs. Heyer-Heuscher SUI [28]
June 29: Lucena-Keenan USA [21]vs. Maaseide-Horrem NOR [45]
July 1: Cunha-Pedro BRA [4] vs. Lucena-Keenan USA [21]

Pool H
June 27: Jennings-Fuerbringer USA [17] vs. Varnier-Nicolai ITA [32]
June 29: Jennings-Fuerbringer USA [17] vs. Huber-Gartmayer AUT [41]
July 1: Nummerdor-Schuil NED [8] vs. Jennings-Fuerbringer USA [17]

Pool A
June 26: Ross-Kessy USA [1] vs. Aas-Bjørkesett NOR [48]
June 26: Minusa-Jursone LAT [24] vs. Fendrick-Ivy USA [25]
June 28: Ross-Kessy USA [1] vs. Fendrick-Ivy USA [25]
June 30: Ross-Kessy USA [1] vs. Minusa-Jursone LAT [24]
June 30: Fendrick-Ivy USA [25] vs. Aas-Bjørkesett NOR [48]

Pool D
June 27: Branagh-Youngs USA [4] vs. Dampney-Mullin GBR [45]
June 29: Branagh-Youngs USA [4] vs. Martin-Lessard CAN [28]
July 1: Branagh-Youngs USA [4] vs. Banck-Günther GER [21]

Pool F
June 26: Turner-Akers USA [6] vs. Forrer-Schmocker SUI [43]
June 28: Turner-Akers USA [6] vs. Giaoui-Hamzaoui FRA [30]
June 30: Turner-Akers USA [6] Lundqvist-Ljungquist SWE [19]