COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 5, 2012) – Four U.S. women’s beach volleyball teams advanced to the single-elimination bracket at the 1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam. The tournament, part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, is being held in Gstaad, Switzerland.
On the men’s side, four teams opened play on Thursday in the main draw, with two going undefeated.
Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), seeded No. 4, defeated Italy’s 20th-seeded Gioria Daniela and Giulia Momoli 21-13, 21-13 in 31 minutes on Thursday. They closed pool play with a win over Belgium’s Liesbeth Mouha and Katrien Gielen (No. 13) 21-15, 21-14 in 34 minutes.
Kessy and Ross earned a bye in the first round of single-elimination play. In Friday’s second round, they will face the winner of Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre (No. 25) and the Czech Republic’s 26th-seeded Martina Bonnerova and Barbora Hermannova.
No. 6-seeded Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerry Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) went undefeated in pool play after defeating Austria’s No. 11-seeded Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger 21-15, 21-10 in 31 minutes.
May-Treanor and Walsh received a first-round bye in Friday’s single-elimination bracket. In the second round, they will face the winner of Brazil’s 15th-seeded Vivian and Lima and Switzerland’s Romana Kayser and Joana Heidrich (No. 29).
The two-time Olympic champions have found success at Gstaad in the past, winning five gold medals and the 2007 world championship.
“We want to grow and learn during the tournament all the way to the finals.” Walsh said in an FIVB press release. “Our goal is to win here in Gstaad again. I remember when we won the 2007 FIVB SWATCH World Championships here. I love cowbells (special custom trophy for the winners) and we really want to get one.”
No. 16 Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Ventura, Calif.) defeated Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Buthe (No. 17) 20-22, 27-25, 15-12 in 58 minutes in the second round of pool play. They closed pool play with a loss to Brazil’s Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva (No. 1) 11-21, 11-21 in 29 minutes.
Fendrick and Hanson will face Slovokia’s Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova (No. 22) in the first round of single-elimination play on Friday.
Jenny Kropp (Grand Island, Neb.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.), seeded No. 22, closed pool play on Thursday with a loss to the Netherland’s 5th-seeded Sanna Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel 20-22, 23-25 in 47 minutes.
Kropp and Branagh’s first-round match on Friday will pit them against Germany’s 17th-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Buthe.
Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Estero, Fla.), seeded No. 32, opened play on Thursday with a loss to the Brazilian team of Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva (No. 1) 19-21, 13-21 in 32 minutes. In their last pool-play match, they fell to Germany’s 17th-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Buthe 18-21, 21-14, 10-15 in 45 minutes. Fopma and Sweat will not advance to Friday’s single-elimination bracket.
On the men’s side, Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), received the No. 1 at Gstaad. In their first match back in action since withdrawing from Moscow and Rome due to injury, the Olympic-bound duo tallied a win over Venezuela’s No. 32-seeded team of Farid Mussa and Jackson Henriquez 21-18, 21-17 in 40 minutes. Next, they defeated the Kazakhstani team of Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko (No. 17) 21-19, 21-19 in 39 minutes.
Dalhausser and Rogers will close pool play on Friday against New Zealand’s 16th-seeded Jason Lochhead and Kirk Pitman. The first round of single-elimination play is also slated to start on Friday.
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.
The duo opened play with a win over Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson (No. 30) 21-17, 28-26 in 49 minute. Next, they fell to Germany’s No. 19-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng 17-21, 19-21 in 40 minutes.
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. They won their first pool-play match against No. 26-seeded U.S. teammates Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Billy Strickland (Malibu, Calif.) 21-18, 21-15 in 43 minutes. Next, they defeated the Brazilian team of Thiago Santos Barbosa and Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta (No. 23) 21-17, 21-17 in 37 minutes.
Fuerbringer and Lucena will close pool play on Friday against the Swiss team of Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda (No. 10).
Jennings and Strickland earned a victory over Switzerland’s 10th-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda 21-18, 21-19 in 42 minutes.
They will conclude pool play on Friday against the Brazilian team of Thiago Santos Barbosa and Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta.
For complete information on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, visit their web site.