COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 1, 2013) – Three U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams went 5-1 in main draw pool play on Wednesday at the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam, part of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Meanwhile, two U.S. women’s beach volleyball teams – Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) along with Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.) – qualified for the main draw in Shanghai.
In the men’s bracket, the U.S. team of Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.), seeded No. 2, won both of their matches in Pool B on Wednesday. They opened with a 21-13, 21-12 (30 minutes) win over China’s No. 31 Lizeng Zhang and Zhuoxin Li. They had a much tougher time in the afternoon, playing the longest match of the day in beating No. 18 Julius Brink and Sebastian Fuchs of Germany, 21-18, 20-22, 15-10 (1:01). Brink won the men’s beach volleyball gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London with former partner Jonas Reckermann.
The third set was tied at 4-4 before the U.S. pair staged a 6-0 fueled by Dalhausser attacks, including a turn-around kill.
“I feel pretty good about our match,” Dalhausser said in an FIVB press release. “A tough match, in tough conditions, against a good team like that, I am happy we came out with the win.
“Yeah, we had a nice run, we took advantage of the good side and I really served hard into the wind and the wind pushed the ball down.”
On Thursday, Rosenthal and Dalhausser will complete pool play against Austria’s 15th-seeded Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst. The first round of single elimination play will begin on Friday.
The U.S. team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), seeded ninth, went 2-0 in Pool H on Wednesday. The U.S. team opened with a 19-21, 21-15, 15-13 (:56) victory over Brazil’s No. 24 Vitor Felipe and Evandro Júnior. In the afternoon, Gibb and Patterson topped Austria’s No. 25 Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl, the team that eliminated the U.S. pair from the Fuzhou Open in the second round last week, 19-21, 21-19, 15-9 (:53).
On Thursday, Gibb and Patterson will close out pool play against China’s eighth-seeded Linyin Xu and Peng Gao.
Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.), who are seeded 14th and making their competitive debut in Shanghai, went 1-1 in Pool C. In the morning, they beat Netherlands’ No. 19 Daan Spijkers and Steven van de Velde, 21-17, 21-19 (:41). In the afternoon, they fell to Germany’s No. 17 Mischa Urbatzka and Markus Bockermann, 21-13, 21-18 (:34). On Thursday, they will finish pool play against Brazil’s No. 3 Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt.
In women’s qualifying on Wednesday, Fopma and Sweat, seeded No. 13 in the qualifying bracket, opened with a 21-15, 21-15 (:34) victory over No. 20 Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte of Lithuania. In the second round, the U.S. pair beat No. 4 Miller Elwin and Henriette Iatika of Vanuatu, 21-12, 16-21, 17-15 (:46).
Day and Hochevar, seeded No. 14 in qualifying, beat No. 19 Cindy Treland and Janne Pedersen of Norway in the first round, 21-17, 21-14 (:34). In the second round, the U.S. pair topped Canada’s No. 3 Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney, 22-20, 21-18 (:39).
Women’s pool play will begin on Thursday.
The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), seeded No. 4 in Pool D, will open against Fopma and Sweat, who are seeded No. 29 in the main draw. In the afternoon, Ross and Kessy will play No. 20 Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy of Australia while Fopma and Sweat will face No. 13 Liliane Maestrini and Barbara De Freitas of Brazil.
On Friday, Ross and Kessy will face Maestrini and Freitas while Fopma and Sweat will play Bawden and Clancy.
The U.S. women’s team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Ind.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) is seeded No. 22 and will play in Pool F. They will play Spain’s No. 11 Liliana Steiner and Elsa McMillan on Thursday morning and then face Czech Republic’s No. 6 Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova in the afternoon. On Friday, Fendrick and Branagh will close pool play against Poland’s No. 27 Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek.
Day and Hochevar are seeded No. 30 and will play in Pool C. They will open Thursday against Italy’s No. 3 Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti. In the afternoon, they will face Germany’s No. 14 Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst. On Friday, Day and Hochevar will finish pool play against Austria’s No. 19 Doris Schwaiger and Stefanie Schwaiger.
For more information on the Shanghai Grand Slam, click here.