COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 1, 2012) – The conclusion of the Bangsaen Thailand Open means the conclusion of the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour for women.
The U.S. women's beach volleyball team of Jennifer Kessy (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) ended on a high note with a victory at the Thailand Open, the third Thailand victory of their career. The new U.S. team of Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) placed fourth. Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) placed tied for 13th and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) finished tied for 17th.
The men’s season ended in August with the Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland. The U.S. team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) were crowned the 2012 World Tour Champions with 5,280 points and $240,000 in team earnings.
For the women, Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca won the World Tour points championships with 5,320 points and $241,800 in team earnings. China’s Chen Xue and Xi Zhang finished second with 5,240 points and $214,300 in earnings. Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Talita Rocha were third with 4,500 points and $159,100 in earnings and Kessy and Ross were fourth with 4,360 points and $138,200 in earnings.
Among the other U.S. women’s beach volleyball teams, Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) finished 11th with 3,000 points and $111,300 in earnings. Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hansen were 29th with 1,200 points and $34,700 in earnings. Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) finished tied for 40th with 600 points and $16,100 in earnings.
The only teams to medal for the United States were Kessy and Ross along with May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings. Kessy and Ross finished with one gold medal (Thailand), one silver (Olympic Games in London) and one bronze (Rome Grand Slam). May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won two gold medals (Olympic Games and Gstaad Grand Slam) and one silver (Moscow Grand Slam).
More information about the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour is available on the FIVB web site.
FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL WORLD CUP FINAL
The FIVB has announced that the inaugural $300,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Final will be played Jan. 9-13, 2013, in Brazil. The host city will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Final, which will determine the champion country from the Continental Cup, will feature 10 countries per gender represented by one team each. Teams will be competing for prize purses of $150,000 per gender.
The 10 countries competing will include the winners of each of the Continental Cup Finals and the national federations who qualified a maximum two teams at the 2012 Olympic Games via the Olympic rankings. If the 10 vacancies were not filled with these criteria, the best country on the 2012 Olympic Games rankings not already qualified will participate.
Because the United States qualified two men’s and two women’s teams for the 2012 Olympic Games via the Olympic rankings, it has qualified teams for both men’s and women’s competitions in the World Cup Final.
Other countries qualified for the women’s event are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Mauritius and Russia.
Other countries qualified for the men’s event are Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland and Venezuela.
HILTON HHONORS BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHALLENGE
The men’s event of the Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge, which was played Oct. 20 in Honolulu, will be broadcast at 5-6 p.m. ET on Nov. 3 on NBC Universal Sports.
At the event, the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball teams of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) competed against China’s men’s Olympic team of Linyin Xu and Penggen Wu.
The women’s event, which featured Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) against China’s Chen Xue and Xi Zhang, will be broadcast at 3-4 p.m. ET on Dec. 1 on the NBC Sports Network.
NORCECA BEACH CIRCUIT
U.S. beach volleyball players had great success at the NORCECA Beach Circuit event on Oct. 26-28 in St. Lucia as the U.S. team of Tracy Weamer (Upland, Calif.) and Kathryn Piening (Kalamazoo, Mich.) won the women’s gold medal while Jon Mesko (Traverse City, Mich.) and Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) won the men’s gold and Jeff Carlson (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) won the men’s silver.
Three more events remain on the 2012 NORCECA Beach Circuit schedule: Nov. 16-17 in Trinidad & Tobago, Nov. 23-25 in Panama and Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Aruba.
More information about the NORECA Beach Circuit is available on the NORCECA web site.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC MAKES IT OFFICIAL
Florida Atlantic University has added sand volleyball to the athletic slate. Sand volleyball became the 19th varsity sport sponsored by the school in 2012.
Charlie Castillo, an assistant with the women’s volleyball team, will be the head coach for Florida Atlantic’s sand volleyball program.
Sand volleyball, an NCAA emerging sport, became effective in August 2011. The Owls have played in sand volleyball tournaments in the past, but played a full competitive schedule in addition to their normal indoor spring practice schedule. The duo of Alessia Pizzocheri and Joanne Marras Tate advanced to the AVCA Sand Volleyball National Championships last April.
For more news regarding sand volleyball and the rest of FAU's 19 intercollegiate sports, visit fausports.com.