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Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calf.) and Lucena (Santa Barbara, Calif.), seeded 11th edged compatriots Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), seeded 14th, in the third round on Friday, 21-16, 16-21, 15-13 in a neck-and-neck 56-minute match. Gibb and Rosenthal were forced into consolation where they fell to 17th-seeds Pedro Solberg Salgado and Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta of Brazil, 21-14, 23-21 in 41 minutes. The loss ended Gibb and Rosenthal’s run in Morocco.
Fuerbringer and Lucena will face the 17th-seeded team of Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil of the Netherlands in round four on Saturday in hopes to advance into Sunday’s semifinal round.
Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Wong (Honolulu, Hawaii) took a hit Friday morning, falling to Nummerdor and Schuil, 21-18, 17-21, 15-10 in 55 minutes before making a triumphant comeback to beat third-seeds, Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaquarda of Switzerland, 21-19, 21-12 in 33 minutes. The consolation win advances the Americans into Saturday’s play where they will face Salgado and Ferramenta in the first of two must-win matches to stay alive in the tournament.
This marks the first time ever that the FIVB Swatch World Tour stops in Morocco. The north-African country did host three challengers earlier, in Casablanca in 2004, 2005 and 2006. South Africa is the only other African nation who hosted World Tour events – in 1995, 2004 and 2005 in Cape Town and in Durban in 1996.
The $190,000 single-gender Morocco Open is the 14th and final men’s event of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour. The women finish next month with their 16th event in Phuket, Thailand.
For more information on the Morocco Open, click here.