COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 14, 2012) – Seven of the eight U.S. beach volleyball players who participated in the 2012 Olympic Games are already back in action and slated to compete in the Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland.
Joining the Olympians in Poland is the U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Ind.) and Brooke Hanson (Ventura, Calif.), which advanced to Wednesday’s main draw after winning out of the qualifying bracket.
Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), seeded No. 1 in Poland, are coming off a silver-medal finish at their debut Olympic appearance. Kessy and Ross will face Poland’s 32-seeded Agnieszka Pregowska and Renata Bekier in their first round of pool play. Next, they will face the Slovakian team of Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova (No. 17).
Kessy and Ross will conclude pool play on Thursday against Brazil’s 16th-seeded Maria Clara Salgado Rufino and Liliane Maestrini.
The first round of single elimination is also set for Thursday.
Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) and longtime partner Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) won their third consecutive gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in a fitting conclusion to a historic partnership.
Walsh will compete with Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) in Wednesday’s main draw. The No. 12-seeded duo will face their No. 21-seeded U.S. compatriots Fendrick and Hanson in their first round of pool play. Next, they will face Austria’s Barbara Hansel and Magdalena Jirak (No. 28).
Walsh and Branagh will close pool play on Thursday against the Netherlands’ fifth-seeded Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel.
Fendrick and Hanson did not have enough FIVB ranking points to earn automatic entry to the main draw. They competed in Tuesday’s qualification bracket, receiving the No. 1 seed.
In the first round of qualifying, Fendrick and Hanson defeated Latvia’s No. 32-seeded Monta Strazdina and Alise Pastare 21-4, 21-7 in 25 minutes. Next, they defeated Latvia’s 17th-seeded team of Valeri Teufl and Elisabeth Klopf 21-14, 21-13 in 29 minutes.
In Wednesday’s main draw, Fendrick and Hanson received the No. 21 seed. After facing Walsh and Branagh in the first match of pool, Fendrick and Hanson will take on the Netherlands’ fifth-seeded Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel.
Fendrick and Hanson will close pool play on Thursday against the Austrian team of Barbara Hansel and Magdalena Jirak (No. 28).
Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) also competed in Tuesday’s qualification bracket. In their first-round match, the seventh-seeded U.S. duo defeated Poland’s Sylwia Pilarek and Aneta Gancarczyk (No. 26) 20-22, 21-12, 15-7 in 41 minutes.
In their second-round match, Akers and Hochevar defeated the Netherlands’ 10th-seeded Jolien Sinnema and Marloes Wesselink 22-20, 19-21, 18-16 in 50 minutes to earn their main-draw berth.
Akers and Hochevar, seeded No. 27 in the main draw, will face Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler (No. 6) in their first pool-play match. Their second-round match will pit them against Austria’s 11th-seeded Louis Bawden and Tamsin Hinchley.
Akers and Hochevar will close pool play on Thursday against the Swedish team of Isabelle Forrer Anouk Verge-Depre (No. 22).
On the men’s side, the Olympic teams of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) along with Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) are slated to compete in Thursday’s main draw.
Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) also earned an automatic main-draw berth.
Bradley Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) will kick off play in Wednesday’s qualification bracket. Keenan and Mayer, seeded No. 10 in qualifying, will face Poland’s 23-seeded team of Michal Makowski and Dawid Popek in their first-round match.
If they win, Keenan and Mayer will advance to face the winner of Austria’s seventh-seeded Daniel Mullner and Jorg Wutzl and the Latvian team of Toms Smedins and Aleksandrs Solovejs (No. 26).
For complete information on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, visit their web site.