B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 29, 2009) – The USA Volleyball beach team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal advanced to the semifinals of the US$190,000 Myslowice Open in Poland on Friday, part of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour.
Olympians Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Fla.), ranked 15th, will play the winner of the consolation match between their 12th-seeded U.S. countrymen Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and the winner of the match between Germany’s seventh-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng and Estonia’s 17th-ranked Kristjan Kais and Rivo Vesik.
Gibb and Rosenthal opened play on Friday in Round 3 with a 2-1 (23-25, 21-18, 18-16) victory in 71 minutes over Klemperer and Koreng.
Things didn’t get any easier in the fourth round as Gibb and Rosenthal needed 60 minutes to defeat Germany’s third-seeded Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann, 2-1 (13-21, 24-11, 15-9).
"We played under a heavy rain and with really cold conditions" Rosenthal said in an FIVB release, "but the Germans had the same. So it was us against them and we're really happy because they're a strong team. They're the winner of the last stop in Rome, so it was really a good victory for us."
Fuerbringer and Jennings started Friday on a high note by upsetting Brazil's fourth-ranked team of Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, 2-0 (27-25, 24-22) in 61 minutes.
But the U.S. Team fell in the fourth round to top-seeded Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques, 1-2 (17-21, 22-20, 13-15). Fuerbringer and Jennings led 11-7 in the deciding set before the Brazilians scored seven of the next eight points to take a 14-12 lead in the 68-minute match.
The semifinals will be played Saturday with the medal matches coming on Sunday.
The SWATCH FIVB World Tour event for women in Seoul, Korea took the day off on Friday and will resume on Saturday when top-ranked Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) will play China’s eighth-ranked Ying Huang and Xi Zhang in the third round.
For more information, visit the FIVB beach volleyball site at www.fivb.org/en/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.