COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 11, 2012) – Four U.S. women’s beach volleyball teams are slated to compete Thursday in main draw of the smart Grand Slam Berlin, part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
On the men’s side, Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal and Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena went undefeated after one day of pool play.
Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), seeded No. 4 at Berlin, will open pool play on Thursday against the Italian team of Gioria Daniela and Giulia Momoli (No. 29). Next, the Olympics-bound team will face Brazil’s 20th-seeded Vivian Danielle da Conceicao and Taiana Lima.
Kessy and Ross will conclude pool play on Friday against Germany’s No. 13-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Buthe.
The first and second rounds of single elimination are also slated to begin on Friday. Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Ventura, Calif.), seeded No. 17, will open pool play against the Spanish team of Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan (No. 16). Their second match will pit them against China’s No. 1-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang.
Fendrick and Hanson will close pool play on Friday against Germany’s Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grobner (No. 32).
Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) did not have enough FIVB ranking points to earn automatic entry into the main draw. They competed in the qualification bracket on Wednesday.
After receiving a first-round bye, Akers and Hochevar defeated Slovakia’s No. 19-seeded Andreja Vodeb and Simona Fabjan, 21-11, 21-17 in 32 minutes.
Akers and Hochevar received the No. 21 seed in the main draw and will open pool play against Slovakia’s 12th-seeded Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova. Next, they will face the Italian team of Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti (No. 5).
Akers and Hochevar will conclude pool play on Friday against the Russian’s 28th-seeded Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova.
Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.), making her debut on the FIVB World Tour, and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.), seeded No. 25 at Berlin, will open pool play against Germany’s eighth-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler. Their second-round match will pit them against the Belgium team of Liesbeth Mouha and Katrien Gielen (No. 9).
Ross and Branagh will close pool play on Friday against Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek (No. 24).
On the men’s side, Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), seeded No. 2, opened pool play with a loss to Venezuela’s No. 31-seeded Igor Hernandez and Jesus Fane, 19-21, 21-16, 15-17 in 55 minutes.
In their second-round match, Dalhausser and Rogers defeated the Swiss team of Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda (No. 18), 21-15, 21-13 in 33 minutes.
The Olympics-bound duo 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.
Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 3, are coming off first-place finishes in Rome and Gstaad. Their win in Rome cemented their spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. Gibb and Rosenthal opened pool play with a win over the Netherlands’ 30th-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, 18-21, 21-18, 20-18 in 54 minutes.
In their second match, Gibb and Rosenthal defeated the Kazakhstani team of Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko (No. 19), 21-18, 21-17 in 39 minutes.
Gibb and Rosenthal will close 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, opened pool play with a win over Canada’s No. 26-seeded Ben Saxton and Christian Redmann, 17-21, 21-17, 15-8 in 55 minutes.
In their next match, Fuerbringer and Lucena defeated New Zealand’s Jason Lochhead and Kirk Pitman (No. 23), 21-15, 16-21, 15-10 in 50 minutes.
Fuerbringer and Lucena will conclude pool play on Thursday against Brazil’s 10th-seeded Pedro Solberg Salgado and Marcio Henrique Barroso Araujo.
Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), seeded No. 28, opened pool play with a loss to the German team of Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann (No. 5), 21-19, 18-21, 8-15 in 1 hour, 1 minute.
Next, Keenan and Mayer fell to Latvia’s 12th-seeded Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, 21-19, 21-18 in 39 minutes.
Keenan and Mayer will close pool play on Thursday against the Polish team of Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz (No. 21).
Complete information about the FIVB World Tour is available on the FIVB web site.