COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 6, 2012)– The Moscow Grand Slam, part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, began Wednesday in Russia with a U.S. women’s country quota match.The U.S. women’s beach volleyball teams of Angie Akers/Brittany Hochevar and Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Hanson have earned slots in Thursday’s qualification bracket.
Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Hanson (Ventura, Calif.), whose FIVB SWATCH World Tour ranking is No. 26, claimed their slot in the Moscow qualifier after receiving a bye in the country quota bracket.
The duo is ranked No. 1 in qualifying, and received a first-round bye in Thursday’s qualification bracket. Their first match at Moscow will pit them against the winner of France’s 17th seed Deborah Giaoui/Melody Benhamou and Canada’s 16th seed Kacie MacTavish/Julie Rodrigue.
Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) defeated U.S. teammates Nicole Branagh (Torrance, Calif.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.), 17-21, 21-17, 15-11 in 45 minutes to snag a second slot into the qualifier.
Akers and Hochevar enter the qualification round on Thursday seeded No. 8 and will get a first-round bye. They are slated to face the winner of Japan’s ninth-seeded Satoko Urata/Take and Russia’s 24th-seeded Ksenia Dabizha/Yulia Abalakina.
The U.S. teams of Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) along with Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) will begin play Friday in the main draw.
Complete information about the FIVB World Tour is available on the FIVB web site.