| Jennifer Kessy receives the ball as April Ross gets ready to make a play during pool play on Thursday in Argentina.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 23, 2013) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy was undefeated after its first two pool play matches on Thursday at the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam in Argentina.
Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), seeded No. 2, opened play in Pool B with a 21-11, 21-13 victory in 33 minutes over Argentina’s No. 31 Ana Gallay and Maria Virginia Zonta. They followed with a 21-16, 21-15 win in 37 minutes over Kazakhstan’s No. 18 Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova.
Ross and Kessy will conclude pool play on Friday against Australia’s No. 15 Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy. The first and second round of women’s single elimination will also be played on Friday.
On the men’s side, No. 7 U.S. beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), who won the last FIVB Grand Slam in April in Shanghai, opened pool play with a victory over compatriots No. 10 Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.), 21-18, 22-20 in 38 minutes.
Rogers and Doherty came back to defeat Switzerland’s No. 23 Sebastian Chevallier and Alexei Prawdzic, 21-17, 21-10 in 33 minutes. Gibb and Patterson lost their second pool play match to Italy’s Matteo Ingrosso and Paolo Ingrosso, 22-20, 21-17 in 43 minutes.
Rogers and Doherty will play Ingrosso and Ingrosso on Friday while Gibb and Patterson will finish against Chevallier and Prawdzic. The men’s first round of elimination will also be played Friday.
The U.S. men’s team of No. 15 Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) also went 1-1 on Friday, defeating Argentina’s No. 31 Juan Simon Zorrilla and Facundo Del Coto (21-19, 21-13 in 35 minutes) and losing to Germany’s No. 18 Eric Koreng and Alexander Walkenhorst (21-12, 16-21, 15-7 in 42 minutes). They will finish pool play on Friday against Brazil’s No. 2 Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego.
The U.S. women’s team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.), seeded No. 20, also went 1-1 on Thursday, upsetting Russia’s No. 4 Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova (22-24, 21-19, 15-17 in 56 minutes), but losing to Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Büthe (18-21, 21-16, 15-10 in 45 minutes). They will finish pool play on Friday against England’s No. 29 Zara Dampney and Lucy Boulton.
The U.S. women’s team of Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.), seeded 27th after having to qualify on Wednesday, went 1-1, defeating No. 22 Mariafe Artacho and Jessyka Ngauamo (21-13, 22-20 in 34 minutes) while falling to Brazil’s No. 6 Agatha Bednarczuk and Maria Antonelli (21-11, 21-19 in 33 minutes). They will complete pool play on Friday against No. 11 Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas De Freitas.
The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900. The women’s medal matches will be held on Saturday and the men’s medal matches on Sunday. The FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam will be the 286th FIVB men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1989 and the 248th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.
The semifinals and finals will be shown on http://fivb.laola1.tv.