Olympic Beach Preview for Aug 6 2012

Aug. 06, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

No. 4 Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal (USA) vs.
No. 17 Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins (LAT)
Olympic Men’s Beach Volleyball Quarterfinals

Aug. 6, 2012
7 p.m. local; 11 a.m. PT
Horse Guards Parade in London, England

Match Preview

  • Plavins is 27 years old and 6-3; Smedins is 25 years old and 6-3
  • The winner of this quarterfinal will play the winner of the quarterfinal between Brazil’s No. 1 Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti and Poland’s No. 9 Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel
  • Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins began playing together in 2009. They reached the semifinals at the 2011 World Championships in Rome. Both players have also teamed up with Smedins younger brother Toms. They qualified for London 2012 after finishing the Olympic qualification period in 14th place.
  • Plavins competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing with Aleksandrs Samoilovs, losing to Austria's Gosch/Horst in the round of 16. Smedins is making his Olympic debut in London.
  • Plavins and Samoilovs upset the U.S. team of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers in the first match of the 2008 Olympic Games. Dalhausser and Rogers went on to win the gold medal.
  • Gibb and Rosenthal advanced to the quarterfinals by winning their pool with a 2-1 record. Two other teams were also 2-1, but Gibb and Rosenthal had the best point ratio of 1.34. In the first round of elimination, Gibb and Rosenthal defeated Russia’s No. 22 Konstantin Semenov and Serguei Prokopiev, 21-14, 22-20 in 44 minutes. The U.S. pair has a set record of 6-2.
  • Plavins and Smedins won their pool with a 3-0 record. In the first round of elimination, they defeated Norway’s No. 18 Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr, 21-18, 21-16 in 40 minutes. They have a set record of 8-1.
  • Gibb and Rosenthal are 2-1 lifetime against Plavins and Smedins. In 2012, they played on July 20 in pool play of the Klagenfurt Grand Slam where Gibb and Rosenthal won, 19-21, 21-16, 15-10 in 53 minutes.
  • Plavins and Smedins have not reached an FIVB World Tour podium as a team.
  • As a team, Plavins and Smedins are third among all teams competing in the Olympics in attacks with 124 on 210 attacks for a .59 kill percent. Gibb and Rosenthal are 11th with a kill percent of .53.
  • Plavins and Smedins are second in digs among all teams competing with 78 out of 162 attempts for a .48 success percentage. Gibb and Rosenthal are fourth in digs with 75 out of 132 for a .57 success percentage.
  • In individual statistics, Plavins is fourth in scoring with 85 points on 83 kills and two aces.
  • Gibb is fourth in attacks with 46 kills on 73 attempts for a .63 kill percent. Smedins is right behind him in fifth with 41 kills on 66 attempts for a .62 kill percent.
  • Smedins is tied for 11th in blocks with 11. Gibb is tied for 14th with 10 blocks.

Gibb and Rosenthal Team Fast Facts

  • Joined forces in 2006 and won their debut appearance as a team in Fort Lauderdale before going on to advance to six more semifinals and four finals
  • In 2006, finished second in Paris at a Grand Slam event
  • In 2007, took fifth at the World Championship in Gstaad to match their season-high fifth-place finish
  • In 2008, made the semifinals in their first two FIVB tour events and earned enough points to qualify for the Olympics, where they won out of their pool before falling to the defending gold medalists to earn fifth place
  • Earned four second-place AVP tour finishes in 2009 before claiming their first season victory at Manhattan Beach
  • Helped the U.S. earn its first ever FIVB podium sweep after taking FIVB bronze in Quebec in 2011
  • Were in a neck-and-neck race with Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena to claim the second spot on the U.S. Olympic beach team going into the 2012 World Championships in Rome, where they earned their first career FIVB first-place finish and clinched their spot in the Olympics
  • Caught fire going into the 2012 Olympics and earned their second career first-place finish in Gstaad followed by a silver in Berlin and a third-place finish in Klagenfurt
  • Jake and Sean are coached by 1996 Olympic silver medalist Mike Dodd, a legend of U.S. beach volleyball.

Gibb Personal

  • Born in Bountiful, Utah; Lives in Costa Mesa, Calif.
  • 36 years old; 6-foot-7
  • Graduated from University of Utah
  • Jake's wife's name is Jane. They were married in 2000. They have a son born in 2011. Jake was competing in a tournament at the time of his birth.
  • Jake was diagnosed with testicular cancer following a positive USADA drug test in 2010. The cancer was caught by surgery and no further treatment was necessary. Jake also survived skin cancer in 2004.

Gibb Career

  • Did not play college volleyball
  • Began his pro beach career in 2001 with Mike Daniel and made the main draw in two AVP events
  • Ended the 2003 season as the third-ranked player on the AVP tour
  • In 2004, finished the AVP tour as the second-ranked player and became one of the lowest-seeded teams to win an AVP event when he won as a twelfth-seed in Austin
  • During the 2005 season, was in the semifinals 11 times in 13 AVP events
  • Also played in seven FIVB events in 2005, medaling three times
  • One of two AVP players to have won at least one title every year from 2004-2009 (Rogers is the other player to do so)
  • Only player ranked in the top five on the AVP tour each year from 2004-2007
  • Paired up with Rosenthal in 2006
  • AVP Most Improved Player in 2004
  • AVP MVP in 2005
  • FIVB Rookie of the Year in 2005

To view Jake Gibb's complete bio, click here
To view Jake Gibb’s complete statistics, click here

Rosenthal Personal

  • Born in Redondo Beach, Calif.; lives in Corona Del Mar, Calif.
  • 32 years old; 6-foot-3
  • Has a local legion of fans in the South Bay, known as "Rosie's Raiders."

Rosenthal Career

  • Made his pro beach debut in 1997,  a week before he turned 17
  • Posted a career-best fifth-place finish in Santa Barbara with partner Mark Williams
  • Ended the 2003 season as the 10th-ranked player on the AVP tour
  • In 2004, finished the season as the fifth-ranked player on the AVP tour and participated in his first individual event
  • In 2005, advanced to five semifinals including a second-place finish in Huntington where he fell to Karch Kiraly in what would be the beach volleyball icon’s final victory of his career
  • Joined forces with Gibb in 2006

To view Sean Rosenthal's complete bio, click here
To view Sean Rosenthal’s complete statistics, click here