COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 13, 2012) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal is set to compete on Saturday in the semifinals of the smart Grand Slam Berlin, part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
On the women’s side, Jen Kessy and April Ross along with Lauren Fendrick and Brittany Hochevar advanced to Saturday’s single-elimination bracket.
Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 3 in Berlin, are coming off back-to-back wins in Rome and Gstaad. They will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games along with Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.).
The two Olympic-bound teams went head-to-head in the second round of single-elimination play on Friday.
Gibb and Rosenthal defeated the No. 2-seeded Dalhausser and Rogers, 18-21, 23-21, 15-10 in 1 hour, 1 minute.
Dalhausser and Rogers ended their run at Berlin in ninth place.
Gibb and Rosenthal battled through their third-round match, tallying a win over Germany’s No. 16-seeded Klemperer and Koreng, 22-24, 21-17, 15-10 in 59 minutes.
“That was a big win for us,” Gibb said in an FIVB press release. “For the last three years we have always gone three (sets) with them and it is always a battle right to the end. They beat us last week in Gstaad, so this was a big one for us.”
Gibb and Rosenthal are slated to face Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel (No. 15) in Saturday’s semifinal match.
The other semifinal match will pit the No. 1-seeded Brazilian team of Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego against the Netherlands’ eighth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil.
On the women’s side, Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), seeded fourth at Berlin, concluded pool play with a win over Germany’s No. 13-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Buthe 21-18, 21-16 in 39 minutes.
Kessy and Ross earned a first-round bye in single elimination.
On Saturday, the Olympic-bound duo will face Germany’s seventh-seeded Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig in the second round of single elimination.
The third round of single elimination is also slated for Saturday.
Fendrick (Carlsbad, Ind.) and Hanson (Ventura, Calif.), seeded No. 17, closed pool play with a loss to Germany’s Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grobner (No. 32), 21-14, 22-20 in 33 minutes. The duo advanced to the first round of single elimination and tallied a win over Austria’s Schwaiger and Schwaiger, 21-19, 21-18 in 35 minutes.
“It has finally happened,” Hanson said in an FIVB press release. “We haven’t had a lot of success this year. We’ve had a whole lot of 17th-place finishes. That team always plays us really tough and they are always good matches, so we’re really glad to be still in the tournament.”
On Saturday, Fendrick and Hanson are slated to face Brazil’s No.1-seeded Angela Vieira and Liliane Maestrini in the second round of single elimination.
Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.), making her debut on the FIVB tour, and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Colo.) received the No. 25 at Berlin. They closed pool play with a win over Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek (No. 24), 21-10, 19-21, 15-13 in 45 minutes.
The victory earned Ross her first playoff appearance on the FIVB tour after two days of competition.
Ross and Branagh suffered a first-round loss to Russia’s 15th-seeded Anastasia Vasina and Anna Vozakova, 27-25, 21-13 in 41 minutes. The duo finished their run at Berlin in 17th place.
Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.), seeded No. 21, lost their final pool-play match to the Russian’s 28th-seeded Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova (No. 32) 21-13, 21-19 in 35 minutes.
Akers and Hochevar did not advance to the single-elimination bracket and finished their run at Berlin in 25th place.
For more information on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour, visit the FIVB web site.