|John Mayer dives for the ball at a NORCECA Beach Circuit event in March.|
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 6, 2013) – Brad Keenan and John Mayer advanced to the first round of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Berlin Grand Slam in Germany with two victories in the qualifying bracket on Tuesday.
The U.S. pair, seeded No. 20 in qualifying, opened with a 21-18, 34-32 win in 55 minutes over Venezuela’s No. 13 Jackson Henriquez and Leonard Alexis Colina Chourio. In the second round, Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and Mayer (Thousand Oaks) beat No. 4 Igor Hernandez and Jesus Villafañe of Venezuela, 21-16, 21-13 in 33 minutes.
Keenan and Mayer will advance to Wednesday’s men’s main draw pool play where three other U.S. teams will also be competing. Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) will be looking to win their fourth FIVB gold medal as a team after winning the Long Beach (Calif.) Grand Slam on July 27.
Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) have won an FIVB medal of each color this season, but were disappointed with their fourth-place finish in Long Beach and are looking for better results in Berlin.
Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) had their best finish of the season in Long Beach at ninth and want to continue their improvement.
Women’s qualifying will also take place on Wednesday, with Morgan (Beck) Miller (Cote de Caza, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) hoping to crack their first FIVB main draw as a team.
Four U.S. women’s teams are already entered into the Berlin main draw.
Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) would like to reach their second FIVB beach volleyball podium of the season after a second-place finish at the Moscow Grand Slam. They finished tied for ninth most recently at the Long Beach Grand Slam.
The U.S. teams of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) along with Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.) have played well this season and have finished tied for fifth, but have yet to crack an FIVB semifinal.
The new U.S. team of Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) received a wild card into the main draw and will be looking to make a statement.
For more information on the Berlin Grand Slam, click here.