COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 5, 2013) – The U.S. team of April Ross and Whitey Pavlik advanced to the women’s semifinals while Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal made it to the men’s Round of 16 on Friday at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stare Jablonki, Poland.
Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 3, will play Germany’s No. 17 Karla Borger and Britta Buhte in Saturday’s second semifinal. Borger and Buhte are the first German team to reach the women’s semifinals. The women’s medal matches will also be played on Saturday.
Ross and Pavlik reached the semifinals with two victories on Friday. In the Round of 16, they defeated Spain’s Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan, 21-13, 21-15 in 33 minutes. In the quarterfinals, the U.S. pair topped Austrian sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger, seeded No. 18, 19-21, 21-19, 15-13 in 49 minutes.
“It was the hardest match I ever played,” Pavlik said in an FIVB press release. “Austria played really aggressive and we were in trouble many times. They played a really fast game. But in the end we won."
Pavlik was taken by surprise when Ross, who won the world title in 2009 with Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), asked her only a few days before the start of the event to fill in for the injured Kessy. Pavlik’s best result on the World Tour so far was 25th at the Rome Grand Slam this year and she had never played at a World Championship before. "But our only target is the gold medal now.”
In Saturday’s first women’s semifinal, second-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang from China will take on Brazil’s No. 13 Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas.
To reach the semifinals, Germany’s Borger and Buhte had to get past the No. 22 U.S. team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.), 17-21, 21-16, 15-11 in 51 minutes. Fendrick and Hochevar won their second-round match over Finland’s Emilia and Erika Nystrom, 21-15, 21-19 in 35 minutes. The U.S. team finished tied for fifth.
On the men’s side, No. 3 Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) will face Brazil’s No. 10 Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho on Saturday. The men’s quarterfinals will also be played Saturday, with the semifinals and finals on Sunday.
On Friday, Dalhausser and Rosenthal defeated their compatriots No. 4 Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), 23-21, 21-16 in 44 minutes in the first round of elimination in Friday to advance to the Round of 16.
In the first round, the U.S. teams pushed each other hard in the first set, but in the second, Dalhausser and Rosenthal managed to take control and then kept Gibb and Patterson at arm’s length to close out the win.
“We would have preferred to have played them in the semifinal or the final, but we didn’t get a good Independence Day present with the draw,” Dalhausser said.
“It was a tight match for us and we had a lot of luck because those guys played well. Jake and Casey made a few mistakes in the second set which made things easier for us.”
Dalhausser and Rosenthal came into the World Championships having won two gold medals this season, at the Fuzhou Open, and the Rome Grand Slam on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
“Our goal (at the World Championships) was always the gold, but we’ve got Ricardo (Santos and partner Alvaro Filho) in the next round and we’ll have to take it match by match,” Dalhausser said.
No. 17 Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) fell in the first round of elimination to Brazil’s No. 2 Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego, 21-19, 21-12 in 32 minutes and finished tied for 17th.
For more information on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, click here.