Olson, Bourne Qualify in Durban

By Darci Miller | Dec. 11, 2013, 2:06 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 11, 2013) – It was a day of upsets in the qualification bracket at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open on Tuesday, as 17th-seeded Derek Olson and Tri Bourne advanced to the main draw.

Olson (San Diego, Calif.) and Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii) faced off against Denmark’s No. 16 Peter Dilling Kildegaard Andersen and Martin Olesen in their first match, earning a 21-8, 21-17 win. This put them into round two with the other U.S. duos of No. 1 Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.) as well as Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.), both of which had byes through the first round.

Derek Olson and Stafford Slick at the Durban Open 
 Derek Olson, left, attacks against compatriot Stafford Slick.

In round two, Olson and Bourne took on compatriots Montgomery and Slick, winning 21-14, 21-15 and earning a spot in the main draw. Jennings and Brunner dropped their match to 15th-seeded Philipp Arne Bergmann and Malte Stiel of Germany, 18-21, 21-19, 15-8. 

“This is what we came here to do,” Bourne said in an FIVB press release. “We know this team pretty well, because we’d been training with them before this tournament. We just played our game and came out on top.”

Olson and Bourne will begin pool play on Thursday, Dec. 12, as will all three U.S. women’s duos; Sarah Day (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Kim McGiven (San Diego, Calif.), Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), and Whitney Pavlik (Long Beach, Calif.) and Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.). Day and McGiven were slated in the qualification bracket but received a bye into the main draw.

Newcomers to the FIVB World Tour, Olson and Bourne played on the AVP tour before taking on an FIVB event.

“It’s the World Tour so of course it’s going to be a step up from most tournaments we play in,” Bourne said. “We have a really good domestic tour so that trains us well for it. But we knew every team was going to be tough.”

Olson hopes that defeating the top seed in the qualification bracket will give them some momentum going into the main draw.

“Qualifiers are always stressful, so to get through that is huge,” he said. “Tomorrow we can be a little more relaxed, but we want to do a lot more in this tournament for sure. Obviously we want to do well. Knock some high seeds off and do some damage.”

“We want to take down the one and two seeds in this tournament,” Bourne said. “Put that one down.”