US Beach Teams in Brazil to Open FIVB World Tour

By B. J. Hoeptner Evans | April 15, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Communications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 15, 2012) – Nine U.S. beach volleyball teams will begin the 2012 FIVB Swatch World Tour on Monday at the Brasilia Open in Brazil.

The U.S. field will be led by 2008 Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) on the women’s side along with Beijing gold medalists Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) on the men’s side.

Although the Olympic qualification period for London runs through June 17, 2012, both May-Treanor/Walsh and Dalhausser/Rogers have enough points to secure their nomination to the U.S. team, and will be working toward gaining the No. 1 seed in London.

Also competing in the women’s main draw in Brasilia will be the No. 2 U.S. team of Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and the No. 3 team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Woodland Hills, Calif.), who have quite a bit of ground to make up if they hope to catch Kessy and Ross in the race to London.

The fourth U.S. women’s team of Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) is new and will have to compete in Monday’s qualifying bracket to reach the main draw. Akers and Hochevar will be the second-seeded team in qualifying and will receive a first-round bye.

On the men’s side, there is a battle between the current No. 2 U.S. team of Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and the No. 3 team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.). Fuerbringer and Lucena lead 2008 Olympians Gibb and Rosenthal in the Olympic rankings by just 60 points.

Two new U.S. men’s teams will compete in Tuesday’s country quota bracket in Brasilia. Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) will play with Billy Strickland (Malibu, Calif.) against Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.).

Complete information about the FIVB World Tour is available on the FIVB web site.