U.S. Beach Teams Win in Fuzhou, Cayman

By BJ Evans | April 26, 2014, 11:11 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 26, 2014) – The U.S. beach volleyball team of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross breezed through two matches on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the FIVB Fuzhou Open in China.

Walsh Jennings and Ross, who are seeded No. 4, are the last U.S. team still competing in Fuzhou.

In Sunday’s semifinals, the U.S. pair will face China’s top-seeded Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia. In the other semifinal, the Brazilian teams of Juliana Felisberta Da Silva/Maria Antonelli (No. 30) and Maria Clara Salgado Rufino/Carolina Solberg Salgado (No. 5) will square off.

Walsh Jennings and Ross opened Saturday by defeating Brazil’s No. 6 Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas De Freitas in the second round, 22-20, 21-11 in 37 minutes. In the third round, Walsh Jennings and Ross defeated China’s No. 9 Fan Wang and Yuan Yue, 21-17, 21-18 in 37 minutes.

The women’s finals will also be played on Sunday.

NORCECA Cayman Islands

U.S. beach teams went 7-1 on Friday, the first day of competition at the NORCECA Continental Tour event in Grand Cayman Island.

Kim Dicello blocks against Heather Hughes
   Kim Dicello blocks against Heather Hughes in Grand Cayman.

In men’s pool play, Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) went 3-0 in pool play without dropping a set. The U.S. pair defeated teams from St. Lucia, Cayman Islands and Canada’s Cameron Wheelan and Michael Plantiga (21-14, 22-20).

The U.S. team of Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.) went 2-0 in pool play.

On the women’s side, Tealle Hunkus (Girard, Ohio) and Kim (McGiven) Dicello (San Diego) opened the tournament by defeating their U.S. teammates Christal Engle (Pallyup, Wash.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), 19-21, 21-16, 15-11 in 38 minutes in the double-elimination bracket.

Engle and Hughes came back in consolation to beat St. Lucia, 21-11, 21-14.