Womens Beach Teams Undefeated First Day of Moscow

By Deb Stadick | June 08, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Photo: Courtesy FIVB

Jennifer Kessy goes up for the block against Brazil's Liliane Maestrini.

Deb Stadick
Intern, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: deb.stadick@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 8, 2012) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball teams of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh along with Jennifer Kessy and April Ross are undefeated going into their second day of play at the Moscow Grand Slam.

The Moscow Grand Slam is part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.

Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) were seeded No. 4 going into the main draw. In their first pool-play match, they defeated Finland’s Emilia Nystrom and Erika Nystrom (No. 29) 17-21, 21-16, 15-10 in 51 minutes. Next, they defeated the Brazilian team of Angela Vieira and Liliane Maestrini (No. 20) 21-12, 21-16 in 39 minutes.

The U.S. duo is slated to finish pool play on Saturday against Belgium’s No. 23-seeded Mouha and Gielen.

The first round of single-elimination matches is also set to begin on Saturday. Match-ups will be announced at the conclusion of pool play.

May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) received the No. 6 seed at Moscow. They are still looking for their first podium appearance of the season, and went into this tournament with a fresh mindset.

“This is our last season and that brings along a lot of emotions.” Walsh said in an FIVB press release. “It is pretty heavy for us both. But here in Moscow we decided to just have fun, just play.”

The two-time Olympic champions breezed through Friday’s pool-play matches. In their first match, they beat Japan’s 27th-seeded Satoko Urata and Takemi Nishibori 21-15, 21-12 in 31 minutes. Next, they defeated German’s No. 27-seeded team of Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler 21-15, 21-12 in 31 minutes. Walsh credits the successful day to a few adjustments in their game plan.

“We simplified our game. Playing [it over] in two is one of the things we added.” Walsh said. “Finish it whenever possible.”

May-Treanor and Walsh will complete pool play on Saturday against Germany’s 11th-seeded team of Sarah Goller and Laura Ludwig.

The Chase for London Continues on Saturday

The U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah)/Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.)/Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) are set to begin main draw play on Saturday.

Gibb and Rosenthal are battling Fuerbringer and Lucena for the final men’s slot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for beach volleyball. Gibb and Rosenthal go into Moscow with a 40-point lead over their compatriots.

The first slot is projected to go to Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who have withdrawn from both Moscow and Rome.

Gibb and Rosenthal received the No. 8 seed at Moscow. Their first pool-play match on Friday will pit them against the Russia’s 9th-seeded team of Yury Bogatov and Serguei Prokopiev. Next, they will face Switzerland’s Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda (No. 24).

Gibb and Rosenthal will conclude pool play on Sunday against Switzerland’s No. 25-seeded Sasha Heyer and Sebastian Chevallier. The first round of single-elimination play will also be held on Sunday.

Fuerbringer and Lucena seeded No. 7 going into the main draw. In their first match at Moscow, they will face Poland’s No. 26-seeded team of Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz. Their second match will pit them against Germany’s 23rd-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng.

In a final pool-play match on Sunday, Fuerbringer and Lucena will face Russia’s Yaroslav Koshkarev and Konstantin Semenov (No. 10).

To follow The Chase for London since the beginning of the season, click here.

For complete information about the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, visit their website.