US Beach Teams Struggle in Qualifiers

April 25, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 25, 2012) – Two U.S. beach volleyball teams hoping to qualify for the main draw of 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour events fell short on Wednesday.

At the Silesia Open men’s event in Myslowice, Poland, the U.S. team of Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Billy Strickland (Malibu, Calif.), seeded 12th in qualifying, won their first round match over Austria’s 53rd-ranked Peter Eglseer and Felix Koraimann, 21-15, 21-15 in 34 minutes.

However, Jennings and Strickland lost in the second round to Canada’s 21st-seeded Maverick Hatch and Sam Schachter, 21-19, 28-26 in 44 minutes.

The men’s main draw will begin on Thursday. Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Santa Barbara, Calif.) will continue their battle for a U.S. Olympic qualifying spot with Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.).

Fuerbringer and Lucena, seeded second, will play Netherland’s 31st-ranked Jon Stiekema and Christiaan Varenhorst in the first round. Gibb and Rosenthal, seeded 13th, will go up against Georgia’s 20th-ranked Renato Gomes and Jorge Terceiro.

Meanwhile, at the Olympic Bay Sanya Open women’s event in China, the U.S. team of Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), ranked 26th in qualifying, got a first round bye. But the U.S. duo lost in the second round to Netherlands’ seventh-seeded Jantine van der Vlist and Merel Mooren, 13-21, 21-16, 15-12 in 54 minutes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. women’s team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Woodland Hills, Calif.) has withdrawn from the event, leaving only Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) to represent the United States.

Akers and Hochevar are seeded sixth and will play Switzerland’s 27th-ranked Tanja Goricanec and Muriel Graessli in the first round on Thursday.

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