| Casey Patterson hits against South Africa at the World Cup Final in Campinas, Brazil.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 29, 2013) – Both the U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson and women’s team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy went undefeated during the first round of play at the World Cup Final in Campinas, Brazil on Wednesday.
On the women’s side, Olympic silver medalists Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), seeded No. 2 in Brazil, opened play with two wins. Ross and Kessy topped Argentina’s No. 10 Ana Gallay and Maria Virginia Zonta (21-17, 21-16 in 37 minutes), and later defeated Australia’s No. 7 Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy (21-16, 21-19 in 36 minutes).
While the first two matches of the tournament may have appeared to be easy, Ross is recognizes and embraces the strength of the competition in Brazil.
"The teams who played the 2012 London Olympics are back to play in the World Cup Final,” Ross said in an FIVB press release. “We have four teams in our group who are all very strong. The best of the beach volleyball world is here."
For the men, top-seeded Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) swept South Africa’s No. 10 Leo Williams and Jerome Fredericks in two sets (21-12, 21-18 in 31 minutes) on Wednesday afternoon.
Patterson also appreciates the competition and beach volleyball development that the World Cup Final offers.
"The Continental Cup is something really good for beach volleyball,” Patterson said in an FIVB press release. “It's good for all the teams to have a chance to play a big tournament, and it's good for the federations and the players who have the opportunity to play at a higher level. It's a great chance to face the best teams in the lot."
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday. Ross and Kessy’s match up against Russia’s No. 6 seeded Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova while Gibb and Patterson will face play Canada’s No. 7 seeded Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk.
The FIVB World Cup Final is a double gender event that started in 2010 as part of the Olympic Beach Volleyball qualification system. Now, the $300,000 event will determine the champion country from the Continental Cup, including winners of the respective Continental Cup finals and top-ranked teams from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Prize money of $150,000 per gender will be divided among the winners of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Final. The gold medal teams in each gender will each split $50,000, silver medallists will each receive $35,000 and the bronze medallists in each gender will split $22,500 in prize money. The event represents 16 different countries and is organized by the Brazilian Volleyball Federation.
To view the men’s schedule and results, click here.
To view the women’s schedule and results, click here.