B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 4, 2012) – Three U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams have advanced to the second round of elimination at the Shanghai Grand Slam in China, the first grand slam event on the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour.
The top-seeded U.S. team of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), No. 8-seeded Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and 14th-ranked Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) all won their pools on Friday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. women’s team of Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.), seeded fourth, finished tied for ninth after losing in the second round. Fifth-ranked Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) finished tied for fifth after losing in the third round.
Gibb and Rosenthal, who are in a battle with Fuerbringer and Lucena for the second U.S. men’s beach volleyball berth at the 2012 Olympic Games, won their final pool play match on Friday, 19-21, 24-22, 15-10 in 56 minutes over Netherlands’ third-ranked Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil.
“All the teams out here are tough,” Rosenthal said in an FIVB press release, “but we’re into the ninth position and have the chance to move further on. It was a hell of a job by my partner to hang in there. He was getting up and getting to the line and played really well.”
Both teams pushed each other hard throughout the match and even when Rosenthal and Gibb went 14-10 ahead in the final set, Skarlund and Spinnangr twice fought back to cancel out two match points before winning the tie.
“We just needed to pass the ball and side out,” Rosenthal continued. “At 14-10 you’re still pretty good, but anything can happen out there.”
Twelve months ago the duo was on the podium with the silver medal round their necks after they had lost the final to Rogers and Dalhausser.
However, despite starting to find their best form, they say that they will have to be at their best to record a similar result in 2012.
“All the other teams are good out here,” Rosenthal said. “One day you can beat anybody and one day you can lose to anybody. Everybody is good, you just come out and try and play your game.
“We’re in a good position. We’re still alive and good moving forward.”
With a 2-1 pool play record, Gibb and Rosenthal advanced to Saturday’s second round where they will face Brazil’s fourth-seeded Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha.
Dalhausser and Rogers won their final pool play match on Friday, 21-19, 13-21, 15-11 in 55 minutes over Germany’s 16th-seeded Hase Klemperer and Eric Koreng. With a perfect 3-0 pool play record, they will face Italy’s 15th-seeded Nicolai Paolo and Daniele Lupo in the second round.
Fuerbringer and Lucena won their final pool play match on Friday over China’s ninth-seeded Linyin Xu and Penggen Wu, 21-18, 21-19 in 50 minutes.
The U.S. pair went 2-1 in pool play and will take on Switzerland’s No. 21-seeded Sascha Heyer and Sebastian Chevallier in the second round on Saturday.
The U.S. men’s team of Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), who had to qualify for the main draw and were seeded 29th, lost their final pool play match on Friday to Latvia’s 20th-seeded Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, 21-15, 21-19 in 39 minutes.
The U.S. pair advanced to the first round where it fell to Brazil’s fifth-ranked Pedro Salgado and Marcio Araujo, 21-18, 21-16 in 37 minutes. The finished tied for 17th.
In the women’s bracket, May-Treanor and Walsh lost in the second round to Spain’s 16th-ranked Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo Mcmillan, 21-13, 14-21, 15-10 in 43 minutes. The finish the tournament tied for ninth.
Kessy and Ross won their second-round match over Australia’s 24th-ranked Natalie Cook and Tamsin Hinchley, 21-19, 21-17 in 43 minutes. But in the third round, the U.S. team ran into Brazil’s third-ranked Juliana Felisberta Da Silva and Larissa Franca and fell, 21-17, 16-21, 18-16 in 53 minutes.
Complete information about the FIVB World Tour is available on the FIVB web site.