COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 16, 2012) – The three U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams competing at the Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland all tallied undefeated records after the first day of main-draw play.
The event is the final grand slam on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
On the women’s side, Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) along with Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) will compete on Friday in the second round of single elimination.
Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 2 in Poland, are coming off a fifth-place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Gibb and Rosenthal opened play on Thursday with a win over the Ukrainian team of Popov Sergiy and Valeriy Samoday (No. 31), 17-21, 21-18, 15-9 in 53 minutes.
Next, they defeated Italy’s 18th-seeded Paolo Ingrosso and Matteo Ingrosso, 18-21, 21-14, 15-10 in 52 minutes.
“After the defeat in the Olympics, we had to sit around and think about it for about a week,” Rosenthal said in an FIVB press release. “Now we are playing for a points’ world title and we are really focused and glad to be winning some matches.”
Gibb and Rosenthal will conclude pool play on Friday against Germany’s 15th-seeded team of Sebastian Fuchs and Eric Koreng.
The first round of single elimination is also slate for Friday.
Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) also competed at the 2012 Olympic Games, ending their run with a loss in the first round of single-elimination.
Dalhausser and Rogers, seeded No. 4 in Poland, opened pool play with a win over Sweden’s 29th-seeded Micro Gerson and Philip Gabathuler, 21-16, 21-17 in 37 minutes.
Next, they defeated Russia’s 20th-seeded Dmitri Barsouk and Yury Bogatov, 21-18, 16-21, 15-13 in 55 minutes.
Dalhausser and Rogers will close pool play on Friday against the Kazakhstani team of Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko (No. 13).
Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), seeded No. 6, defeated Sweden’s 27th-seeded Hannes Brinkborg and Stefan Gunnarsson, 21-19, 21-16 in 40 minutes in the first round of pool play.
In their second-round match, Fuerbringer and Lucena defeated the Russian team of Konstantin Semenov and Serguei Prokopiev (No. 22), 21-14, 21-15 in 34 minutes.
Fuerbringer and Lucena will conclude pool play on Friday against Brazil’s 11th-seeded Ricardo Alex Costa Santos and Vitor Goncalves Felipe.
On the women’s side, the No. 1-seeded Kessy and Ross, who earned a silver medal in London, defeated Brazil’s 16th-seeded Maria Clara Salgado Rufino and Liliane Maestrini, 21-14, 17-21, 15-10 in 48 minutes to finish pool play with a 3-0 record.
Kessy and Ross earned a first-round bye in the single-elimination bracket. On Friday, they will face the Spanish team of Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Else Baquerizo McMillan (No. 19) in the second round.
Walsh, who also competed at the 2012 Olympics and won gold with longtime partner Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.), paired up with Branagh in Poland.
The 12th-seeded duo won their final pool-play match against the Netherlands’ fifth-seeded Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel, 22-20, 21-17 in 39 minutes.
Walsh and Branagh earned a first-round bye in single elimination and will face the Czech Republic’s seventh-seeded Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova on Friday in the second round.
Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.), seeded No. 27, won their final pool-play match against the Swedish team of Isabelle Forrer Anouk Verge-Depre (No. 22), 21-17, 21-17 in 34 minutes.
Akers and Hochevar competed in the first round of single elimination, falling to Belgium’s 18th-seeded Mouha and Gielen 21-18, 21-11 in 31 minutes. They ended their run at Poland in 17th place.
For more information on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, visit the FIVB web site.