COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 4, 2012) – Four U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams are set to compete Thursday in the main draw of the 1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam in Gstaad, Switzerland.
On the women’s side, four teams opened main-draw play on Wednesday.
Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) received the No. 1 seed in Gstaad. The Olympic-bound duo withdrew from Moscow and Rome due to injury. In their first match back in action, they will face Venezuela’s No. 32-seeded team of Farid Mussa and Jackson Henriquez. Next, they will face the Kazakhstani team of Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko (No. 17).
Dalhausser and Rogers will close pool play on Friday against New Zealand’s 16th-seeded Jason Lochhead and Kirk Pitman.
Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 3 in Gstaad, are coming off a first-place finish in Rome that cinched their spot on the U.S. Olympic beach team.
Gibb and Rosenthal will open pool play against the Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson (No. 30). Their second pool-play match will pit them against Germany’s No. 19-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng.
Gibb and Rosenthal will conclude pool play on Friday against the German team of Sebastian Dollinger and Stefan Windscheif (No. 14).
Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) received the No. 7 seed at Gstaad. Their first pool-play match will pit them against their No. 26-seeded U.S. teammates Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Billy Strickland (Malibu, Calif.). Next, they will face Brazil’s No. 23-seeded Thiago Santos Barbosa and Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta.
Fuerbringer and Lucena will close pool play on Friday against the Swiss team of Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda (No. 10).
Jennings and Strickland did not have enough FIVB ranking points to earn automatic entry into the main draw. They competed in Wednesday’s qualification bracket, receiving the No. 8 seed.
After receiving a first-round bye, they defeated Germany’s Markus Bockermann and Mischa Urbatzka (No. 9) 21-19, 21-13 in 35 minutes.
“We were a little bit nervous the first set, since we had never played against them before and we knew they were a good team.” Jennings said in an FIVB press release. “The second set, we had a perfect game plan and it worked very, very well. In the main draw, we will just take one match at a time.”
Jennings and Strickland will face Fuerbringer and Lucena in their first pool-play match on Thursday. Next, they are slated to face Switzerland’s 10th-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda.
Jennings and Strickland will close pool play on Friday against the Brazilian team of Thiago Santos Barbosa and Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta.
On the women’s side, the No. 4-seeded team of Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) opened pool play with a loss to Switzerland’s No. 29-seeded Romana Kayser and Joana Heidrich 21-17, 24-26, 14-16 in 1 hour and 4 minutes.
They will close pool play on Thursday against Italy’s 20th-seeded Gioria Daniela and Giulia Momoli and Belgium’s Liesbeth Mouha and Katrien Gielen (No. 13).
The first round of single-elimination play is slated to start on Friday, and matchups will depend upon pool-play results.
Misty May Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (San Juan, Calif.), seeded No. 6, went undefeated on Wednesday. They opened pool play with a victory over the Netherland’s 27th-seeded Jolien Sinnema and Marloes Wesselink 29-27, 21-13 in 37 minutes.
Next, they defeated Slovokia’s Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova (No. 22) 21-15, 21-15 in 35 minutes.
May-Treanor and Walsh will conclude pool play on Thursday against Austria’s No. 11 Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger.
Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Ventura, Calif.) received the No. 16 seed at Gstaad. They opened pool play with a win over U.S. teammates Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Estero, Fla.) 21-17, 21-16 in 33 minutes.
Fendrick and Hanson will conclude pool play on Thursday against Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Buthe (No. 17) and Brazil’s Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva (No. 1).
Jenny Kropp (Grand Island, Neb.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.), seeded No. 22, defeated Slovenia’s No. 28-seeded Andreja Vodeb and Simona Fabjan 21-18, 23-21 in their first round of pool-play.
In the second round, Kropp and Branagh fell to the Netherland’s Madelein Meppelink and Sophia van Gestel (No. 12) 17-21, 17-21 in 35 minutes.
Kropp and Branagh will close pool play on Thursday against the Netherland’s 5th-seeded Sanna Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel.
After losing their first match to Fendrick and Hanson, Fopma and Sweat will conclude pool play on Thursday against the Brazilian team of Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva (No. 1) and Germany’s 17th-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Buthe.