COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 22, 2012) – Seven U.S. beach volleyball teams are in Thailand for the Bangsaen Thailand Open powered by PTT, which is the final event on the women’s 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour.
The competition will begin with the country quota matches on Tuesday (Oct. 23). Qualifying will follow on Wednesday (Oct. 24) and the main draw on Thursday (Oct. 25).
The 2012 Olympic silver medal team of Jennifer Kessy (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) along with the new pairing of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) will start in Thursday’s main draw.
Kessy and Ross won the event in 2008 and 2009 and also won the silver medal in 2011. During all three years, the event was held in Phuket, Thailand.
Branagh medaled three times in Phuket. In 2007 she won the silver medal with Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) and in 2008 she took silver with Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.). In 2010, Branagh won the gold medal in Phuket with Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.).
The other five U.S. teams will play country quota matches with the winning team advancing to the qualification bracket: Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.); Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kaitlin Sather (Santa Rosa, Calif.); Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Jenny Kropp (Grand Island, Neb.); Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) along with Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.).
A total of 49 teams from 20 different countries will be competing, including the Brazilian team of Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta da Silva who were recently crowned as the 2012 World Tour champions. It will also be the final event for the team, which has announced it is splitting after a nine-year partnership.
More information about the event is available on the FIVB web site.
About the photo: Jennifer Kessy, left, and April Ross show off the silver medals they won in Thailand in 2011. Photo copyrighted by FIVB.
HILTON HHONORS BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHALLENGE
The U.S. Olympic beach volleyball teams of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) along with Kessy and Ross played the stars of China beach volleyball in the Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Chinese Olympic teams competing were the women’s team of Chen Xue and Xi Zhang and the men’s team of Linyin Xu and Penggen Wu.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) served as a commentator along with U.S. Olympic beach volleyball player Kevin Wong and 1984 Olympic gold medalist Chris Marlowe.
The men's event will air 5-6 p.m ET on Nov 3 on NBC Universal Sports. The women's event will air 3-4 p.m. ET on Dec. 1 on the NBC Sports Network.
NORCECA BEACH CIRCUIT
Three U.S. beach teams will travel to Saint Lucia in the Caribbean this week for the NORCECA Beach Circuit.
The U.S. teams of Jon Mesko (Traverse City, Mich.) and Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) will play in the men’s bracket along with Jeff Carlson (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.).
Montgomery and partner Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii) won the silver medal at the NORCECA Beach Circuit event on Sept. 28-30 in Chula Vista, Calif.
The U.S. team of Tracy Weamer (Upland, Calif.) and Kathryn Piening (Kalamazoo, Mich.) will compete in the women’s bracket.
Weamer finished second with Michelle Moriarty at the NORCECA Beach Circuit event on May 18-20 in Chiapas, Mexico.
The event will take place at Pigeon Island National Landmark in Gros Islet. A total of 18 different countries will be represented in the ninth stage of the 2012 tour.
More information about the NORECA Beach Circuit is available on the NORCECA web site.
MAY-TREANOR TO BE HONORED
The Long Beach Century Club Hall of Fame has announced that it will induct three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) along with Long Beach State head volleyball coach Brian Gimmillaro and U.S. Women’s National Team member Danielle Scott Arruda at the club’s 57th Annual Sports Night Banquet on Feb. 5, 2013.
May-Treanor, who played for Gimmillaro at Long Beach State University, has been honored several times by the club. She’s won a record four Athlete of the Year awards, spanning her collegiate and professional career, in 1997, 2003, 2006, and 2007. She had been honored so many times that the club named her Athlete of the Decade after she won her second gold medal in 2008.
The Long Beach Century Club was formed in 1957 by a group of prominent Long Beach sports enthusiasts as a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the promotion of amateur athletics in the city. For tickets to the induction banquet, e-mail John Fylpaa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLD MEDAL MOMENTS
Take a look back at the Olympic victories of Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) with this Team USA video.