Hughes, Ross Advance from Country Quota
Brooke Sweat, left, shakes hands with partner Jen Fopma
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 23, 2012) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) beat out four other U.S. teams on Tuesday to win the country quota bracket at the Bangsaen Thailand Open, the final event on the women’s 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour.
In their first country quota match on Tuesday, Hughes and Ross defeated Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kaitlin Sather (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 21-16, 21-18 in 36 minutes
In their second match, they beat Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.), 22-20, 21-15 in 34 minutes.
“It felt really good to play with Heather,” Ross told the FIVB. “This is our first event together, but it seems like we read each other’s minds.”
Ross finished fourth at the FIVB Junior World Championships earlier this year with Sara Hughes, but it is her first time playing with Heather Hughes, who is usually teamed with Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.).
“It sure feels like we have been playing together for a long time,” Hughes added. “But we are not finished yet. We want to play as well as we can here and get into main draw.”
In the other country quota match, Fopma and Sweat defeated Jenny Kropp (Grand Island, Neb.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.), 21-17, 21-17 in 34 minutes.
Hughes and Ross are seeded No. 4 in the qualification bracket, which begins play on Wednesday. They will play Thailand’s No. 13 Supattra Juajan and Prateep Kambut for a chance to move on to Thursday’s main draw.
The 2012 Olympic silver medal team of Jennifer Kessy (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) along with the new pairings of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and also Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) will open play in the main draw.
The semifinals will be played on Saturday followed by the medal matches on Sunday.
More information about the event is available on the FIVB web site.