Top-Seeded Teams Heat up Miami Beach

Sept. 16, 2011, 8:13 p.m. (ET)

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

Men's Results * Women's Results

MIAMI (Sept. 16, 2011) – The Miami heat didn’t stop the top-seeded teams from victory on Friday on the first day of the Miami Beach Pro, part of the 2011 Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series produced by USA Volleyball and IMG.

The tournament is being held in Lummus Park in the heart of South Beach, where temperatures reached the high 80s on Friday.

On the men’s side, the top eight seeded teams all advanced from the first round, with all but one winning in straight sets. On the women’s side, the top five seeds advanced.

In women’s upsets, 11th-seeded Kathryn Babcock (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Erin Gray (Orland Park, Ill.) defeated sixth-seeded Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) in a marathon 1 hour, 11 minute match, 26-24, 13-21, 15-13. Tenth-ranked Chara Harris (Sarasota, Fla.) and Megan Wallin (Siesta Key, Fla.) also upset seventh-seeded Jen Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Jess Gysin (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), 21-19, 21-18 in 41 minutes.

In a first-round matchup of Olympians 2008 Olympian Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and partner Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.), who were seeded third, defeated  2000 Olympians Annett Davis (Valencia, Calif.) and Jenny Johnson Jordan (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), ranked 14th, 21-9, 21-14 in 40 minutes.

Hochevar, who also played with Branagh in an FIVB World Tour event in The Hague, Netherlands, said she was happy to get another chance to play with her former teammate on the U.S. Women’s Indoor National Team.

“I enjoy playing with Nicole,” she said. “Our styles and the way we approach the game are similar.”

In the only men’s first-round match to go three sets, Ty Loomis (Warner Robins, Ga.) and Ty Tramblie (Newport Beach, Calif.) held off Russ Marchewka (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Adam Roberts (High Point, N.C.), 16-21, 21-16, 15-11 in 1 hour, 4 minutes.

“After we lost the first set, I knew all we needed was one or two good plays in the second so we could yell and scream and turn it around,” Loomis said. “Ty Tramblie plays harder than anyone out here.”

The top-seeded men’s team of 2008 Olympians Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) advanced with an easy 21-11, 21-15 victory over local favorites and 16th-seeded Matt Henderson (Tampa, Fla.) and Diogo  Sousa (Coral Springs, Fla.).

The top-seeded women’s team and the 2009 FIVB world champions Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) defeated 16th-ranked Traci Weamer (Corona del Mar, Calif.) and Michelle Moriarty (Houston, Texas), 21-15, 21-12 in 45 minutes.

Saturday’s matches are scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

The Miami Beach Pro includes a center court stadium with a VIP skybox, courtside cabanas, bleacher seating for more than 2,000 plus four ancillary courts. Additional highlights include a welcome center, merchandise store and festival village with an expected 40,000 in attendance over the three-day weekend. 

The semifinals are scheduled for Sunday at 1:15 p.m. The women's finals will be Sunday at 3 p.m. followed by the men’s finals at 5 p.m., which will be live on VERSUS.

The Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series kicked off at the $200,000 Manhattan Beach Open in Aug. 26-28.  Following the Miami Beach Pro, it moves to Hermosa Beach, Calif. on Sept. 23-25 for the $150,000 Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series National Championship. The series offers a combined prize purse of $500,000, the most in the U.S. this year.

Tentative Match Times

Saturday (Sept. 17): 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday (Sept. 18): 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Semifinals at 1:15 p.m.; Women’s final at 3 p.m.; Men’s final at 5 p.m. (Live on VERSUS)

Women’s Entry List by Seed
1 April Ross/Jen Kessy
2 Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Hanson
3 Nicole Branagh/Brittany Hochevar
4 Jenny Kropp/Whitney Pavlik
5 Brooke Sweat/Kristen Batt
6 Heather Hughes/Emily Day
7 Jen Fopma/Jess Gysin
8 Christal Engle/Jennifer Snyder
9 Heather Lowe/Tealle Hunkus
10 Chara Harris/Megan Wallin
11 Kathryn Babcock/Erin Gray
12 Lisa Rutledge/Kim DiCello
13 Priscilla Lima/Angela Lewis
14 Annett Davis/Jennifer Johnson Jordan
15 Olaya Pazo/Kendra Van Zwieten
16 Traci Weamer/Michelle Moriarty

Men’s Entry List by Seed
1 Sean Rosenthal/Jake Gibb
2 Nick Lucena/Matt Fuerbringer
3 John Hyden/Sean Scott
4 Billy Allen/Bradley Keenan
5 Kevin Wong/Jesse Rambis
6 John Mayer/Matt Prosser
7 Ty Loomis/Ty Tramblie
8 Adrian Carambula/ Steven Grotowski
9 Ed Ratledge/Ryan Mariano
10 Russ Marchewka/Adam Roberts
11 Braidy Halverson/Matt Olson
12 Josh Binstock/Mark Van Zwieten
13 Evan Engle/Stafford Slick
14 Joey Dykstra/Stevo VanderWerp
15 Stephen Van Zwieten/ Mike DiPierro
16 Matt Henderson/Diogo Sousa