All-USA Bronze Medal Match at Barcelona Open

Sept. 12, 2009, 3:29 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 12, 2009) – Two U.S. women’s beach pairs reached the semifinals of the SWATCH/FIVB Beach Tour Barcelona Open on Sept. 12, but both teams were turned away from a spot in the gold-medal match by Brazilian opponents and will now face each other for third place at the event being held at Barcelona, Spain.

Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), seeded third in the tournament, defeated Germany’s fourth-seeded Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig 21-18, 21-15 in 49 minutes Saturday morning to advance to the semifinal match against top-seeded Brazilians Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Silva. The Brazilians edged the American pair 21-18, 25-23 in 51 minutes to reach the gold-medal match.

Sixth-seeded Americans Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla) battled past Brazil’s fifth-seeded squad of Ana Paula Connelly and Shelda Bede 25-23, 16-21, 15-13 to open a stretch of three matches on Saturday. With just over an hour of rest, Akers and Turner swept Brazil’s 12th-seeded Maria Clara Salgado and Carolina Salgado 21-19, 28-26 in close 55-minute match to reach the semifinals against yet another Brazilian team. The second-seeded Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli of Brazil topped Akers and Turner 21-15, 21-19 in their semifinal match.

Kessy and Ross will challenge Akers and Turner in the bronze-medal match on Sunday at 12:07 p.m. local time. During the third round of the Barcelona Open, Kessy and Ross defeated Akers and Turner 21-17, 30-28 marking the sixth victory over their American rivals in six meetings in 2009.

For more information on the Barcelona Open, visit click here.