COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 10, 2012) – Four U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams are slated to compete in Wednesday’s main draw at the smart Grand Slam Berlin, part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
On the women’s side, Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) won the country quota match to advance to Wednesday’s qualification bracket.
Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) received the No. 2 seed at Berlin. The Olympic-bound duo is coming off a fourth-place finish in Gstaad, Switzerland, and will open pool play on Wednesday against Venezuela’s No. 31-seeded Igor Hernandez and Jesus Fane. Next, they will face the Swiss team of Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda (No. 18).
Dalhausser and Rogers will close pool play on Thursday against Poland’s 15th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel.
The first and second rounds of single-elimination play are also slated for Thursday. Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 3 at Berlin, are coming off straight gold-medal performances in Rome and Gstaad. Their win in Rome cemented their spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. Gibb and Rosenthal’s first pool-play match will pit them against the Netherlands’ 30th-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen. Next, they will face the Kazakhstani team of Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko (No. 19).
Gibb and Rosenthal will conclude pool play on Thursday against the Czech Republic’s No. 14-seeded Premysl Kubala and Petr Benes.
Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), seeded No. 7, will open pool play against Canada’s No. 26-seeded Ben Saxton and Christian Redmann. Next, they will face New Zealand’s Jason Lochhead and Kirk Pitman (No. 23).
Fuerbringer and Lucena will close pool play on Thursday against Brazil’s 10th-seeded Pedro Solberg Salgado and Marcio Henrique Barroso Araujo.
Bradley Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) did not have enough FIVB ranking points to earn automatic entry in the main draw. They opened play on Tuesday in a qualifying bracket.
Keenan and Mayer, seeded No. 23 in qualifying, defeated Norway’s 10th-seeded Iver Andreas Horrem and Geir Eithun 21-18, 18-21, 15-12 in 55 minutes.
Their second-round match pitted them against the Swedish team of Hannes Brinkborg and Stefan Gunnarsson (No. 7), whom they defeated 23-21, 21-18 in 42 minutes to earn their main-draw berth.
Keenan and Mayer received the No. 28 seed in the main draw. In their first match of pool play they will face the German team of Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann (No. 5). Their second-round match will pit them against Latvia’s 12th-seeded Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins.
Keenan and Mayer will close pool play on Thursday against the Polish team of Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz (No. 21).
Akers and Hochevar faced Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) in the country quota bracket and earned the 21-15, 23-21 victory in 35 minutes.
“It is really important to establish being aggressive and to get on the attack.” Akers said in an FIVB press release. “We wanted to go on the attack and get them on their heels because when you’re on your heels you can’t be as aggressive and that is why we wanted to attack and push them back.”
Akers and Hochevar, seeded No. 3 in qualifying, received a first-round bye and are slated to face the winner of Slovakia’s No. 19-seeded Andreja Vodeb and Simona Fabjan and the Italian team of Laura Giombini Viktoria Orsi Toth(No. 14).
For complete information on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, visit their website.