U.S. Beach Teams to Compete in Durban

By Darci Miller | Dec. 10, 2013, 2:26 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 10, 2013) – The 2013 FIVB beach volleyball season will come to a close with the Durban Open in South Africa on Dec. 11-14, with six U.S. beach teams in the mix.

The men are represented by the duos of Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.), Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) along with Derek Olson (San Diego, Calif.) and Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii). Each will begin the tournament in the qualification bracket on Dec. 11 and are ranked first, second and 17th, respectively.

Jennifer Kessy 
 Jennifer Kessy

The team of Sarah Day (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Kim McGiven (San Diego, Calif.) will compete in the women’s qualification bracket as the No. 7 seed. Advancing directly into the main draw are the teams of Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) as well as Whitney Pavlik (Long Beach, Calif.) and Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.).

Eight teams of each gender advance from qualification into pool play of the main draw competition, which begins on Dec. 12. Out of the eight pools of four teams, the top three finishers from each pool  (24 teams total) advance to single elimination play, beginning on Dec. 13. Quarterfinal, semifinal and final matches will be held on Dec. 14.

The semis and finals were originally scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 15, but were changed following the announcement that Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest on Sunday.

“As a mark of respect and recognition of the incredible impact that Nelson Mandela has made in the transformation of the South African political, economic and social landscapes, we have decided to dedicate this FIVB Open to Mandela,” Durban Open promoter Sunil Geness said in an FIVB press release.

“As such, a decision has been taken to compress the tournament in order for everybody to pay respects to this great man on the day of his funeral, Sunday December 15. We would like to thank the FIVB and the international players for their compassion, respect and understanding of the situation.”