Akers, Turner Finish Fourth on Beach in Japan

May 24, 2009, 9:04 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 24, 2009) – After winning four straight matches to make it to the semifinals, the U.S. beach volleyball team of Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) fell twice on Sunday and finished fourth at the Keihan/SMFG Japan Open in Osaka, part of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

The finish is still impressive for Akers and Turner, who were ranked 26th and upset four teams to make it to the semifinals. The team split $11,200 in its first international event together.

The U.S. team opened play on Sunday with a 0-2 (15-21, 11-21) loss to Brazil’s fifth-ranked Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli in 34 minutes in the semifinals. Talita and Maria had fallen to top-ranked compatriots Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca in the quarterfinals.

In the bronze medal match, 13th-seeded Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands defeated Akers and Turner 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) in 36 minutes.  It was the first-ever SWATCH FIVB World Tour medals for the Dutch players, who shared the $15,000 third-place prize.

The next women’s event on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour will be May 26-31 in Seoul, Korea. The U.S. team of Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) is scheduled to compete in Seoul.

Meanwhile, the men will be competing in the SWATCH FIVB event in Myslowice, Poland on May 26-31. New father Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) are schedule to compete for the United States.

For more information, visit the FIVB beach volleyball site at www.fivb.org/en/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.