COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 12, 2012) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams of Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers are slated to go head-to-head in Friday’s playoff match at the smart Grand Slam Berlin, part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
Both teams will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games.
On the women’s side, Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) making her debut on the FIVB World Tour with veteran teammate Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.), earned her first tour victory after one day of competition.
Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), seeded No. 2, closed pool play on Thursday with a win over Poland’s 15th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prude 24-22, 21-19 in 47 minutes.
The Olympic-bound duo advanced to the single-elimination bracket and tallied a win by forfeit over Norway’s Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr (No. 20).
Dalhausser and Rogers are slated to face U.S. teammates Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) in the second round of single elimination on Friday.
The quarterfinal matches will also be played on Friday.
Gibb and Rosenthal, seeded No. 3 in Berlin, are coming off gold-medal appearances in Rome and Gstaad. Their win in Rome secured their spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
The duo closed pool play with a win over the Czech Republic’s No. 14-seeded Premysl Kubala and Petr Benes, who forfeited due to injury.
Gibb and Rosenthal’s undefeated record in pool play earned them a bye in the first round of the single elimination.
Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), seeded No. 7, concluded pool play with a loss to Brazil’s 10th-seeded Pedro Solberg Salgado and Marcio Henrique Barroso Araujo 21-17, 21-18 in 44 minutes.
Fuerbringer and Lucena fell in the first round of single elimination to Poland’s No. 21-seeded Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz 24-22, 23-21 in 52 minutes. They finish Berlin ranked 17th.
Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), seeded No. 28, closed pool play with a loss to Poland’s No. 21-seeded Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz 21-16, 18-21, 17-15 in 54 minutes.
Keenan and Mayer did not advance to the single-elimination bracket and ended their run at Berlin ranked 25th.
On the women’s side, Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), seeded No. 4 at Berlin, kicked off pool play on Thursday with a win against the Italian team of Gioria Daniela and Giulia Momoli (No. 29), 21-13, 21-17 in 36 minutes.
Next, the Olympics-bound team defeated Brazil’s 20th-seeded Vivian Danielle da Conceicao and Taiana Lima, 21-16, 21-19 in 39 minutes.
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 commence on Friday.
Ross and Branagh, seeded No. 25 at Berlin, opened pool play with a loss to Germany’s eighth-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler, 21-15, 21-17 in 34 minutes.
In their second pool-play match, the U.S. duo defeated the Belgium team of Liesbeth Mouha and Katrien Gielen (No. 9), 21-17, 21-16 in 30 minutes, giving Ross her first FIVB World Tour victory.
Ross and Branagh will close pool play on Friday against Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek (No. 24).
Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Ventura, Calif.), seeded No. 17, opened pool play with a win over the Spanish team of Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan (No. 16), 21-14, 16-21, 13-15 in 51 minutes.
In their second match, Fendrick and Hanson fell to China’s No. 1-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang, 21-14, 21-19 in 36 minutes.
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.), seeded No. 21, fell to Slovakia’s 12th-seeded Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova, 2-131, 21-16 in 33 minutes in their first pool-play match.
Next, Akers and Hochevar fell to the Italian team of Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti (No. 5), 21-15, 16-21, 15-3 in 44 minutes.
Akers and Hochevar will conclude pool play on Friday against the Russian’s 28th-seeded Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova.