Jake Gibb, in blue, blocks against Nick Lucena earlier this season at the Brasilia Open.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 14, 2012)-The U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal put pressure on compatriots Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena in The Chase for London with a pool play victory on Thursday at the smart Grand Slam Rome.
The smart Grand Slam Rome, part of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, marks the last chance for teams to earn points toward qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) went into Rome with a 200-point advantage over Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the race for the second spot on the U.S. Olympic beach team.
Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) are projected to claim the first slot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Gibb and Rosenthal received the No. 5 seed at Rome. They defeated Fuerbringer and Lucena (No. 12) 21-16, 20-22, 15-10 in 58 minutes on Thursday in the first pool play match for both teams.
Fuerbringer and Lucena must now win at least one of their other two pool play matches if they hope to advance to the first round of single-elimination play.
In their second match on Thursday, Gibb and Rosenthal will face the Netherland’s No. 28-seeded team of Jon Stiekema and Christiaan Varenhorst. Fuerbringer and Lucena are slated to face Brazil’s 21st-seed Thiago Santos Barbosa and Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta.
Gibb and Rosenthal will take on the Brazilian team of Thiago Santos Barbosa and Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta (No. 21) to close pool play on Friday, while Fuerbringer and Lucena will face the Netherland’s John Stiekema and Christiaan Varenhorst (No. 28).
To follow the Chase for London since the beginning of the season, visit the USAV website.