COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 22, 2012) – The Belmar Open, second stop of the 2012 Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Series, began on Friday as men’s beach volleyball teams competed in a qualifying round.
A.J. Mihalic (Wall Township, N.J.) and Andreas Olesen (Randers, Denmark) received the No. 1 seed in qualifying and a first-round bye. At the Florida Open in May, Olesen earned a 25th-place finish with partner Billy Kolinske (Big Bend, Wis.). Mihalic goes into Belmar looking for his first top-25 finish on the tour.
The No. 2 seed in qualifying at Belmar went to Ihor Akinshyn (Alchevsk, Ukraine) and Jim Walls (Riverton, N.J.) while the No. 3 seed went to Adam Niemczynowicz (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Dan Sempkowski (East Brunswick, N.J.). The No. 4 seed went to Jonathon Rogers (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and Steve Ellis (Pompano Beach, Fla.), who competed together in the Florida Open but did not finish in the top 25.
The main draw is slated to start on Saturday.
On the men’s side, the No. 1 seed went to Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.). The duo competed at the Florida Open and claimed second place.
John Hyden (Pensacola, Fla.) and Everett Matthews (Halifax, Canada) were seeded No. 2 at Belmar. At Florida, Hyden took first place with teammate Sean Scott (Kailua, Hawaii).
The No. 3-seeded team at Belmar is Adrian Carambula (Uruguay) and Steve Grotowski (London, England). Carambula competed in Florida and took third place with partner Braidy Halverson (Grass Valley, Calif.). Gratwoski, a native of England, has been working to represent the country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Billy Allen (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Russ Marchewka (San Diego, Calif.) took the No. 4 seed at Belmar. The duo finished in third place at Florida, tied with Adrian Carambula and Braidy Halverson.
On the women’s side, Jenny Kropp (Grand Island, Neb.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) claimed the No. 1 seed. The duo competed together earlier this season at Florida, winning four matches over the course of the weekend.
The No. 2 seed went to Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Ventura, Calif.). The duo recently attempted to qualify for the smart Grand Slam Rome. They fell to U.S. teammates Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) in the country quota match.
Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Estero, Fla.) took the No. 3 seed at Belmar after placing seventh in the 2012 FIVB Seoul International Challenger.
The No. 4 seed at Belmar went to Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), who also played in the Seoul International Challenger and took (Bellflower, Calif.) place.