Three U.S. Beach Teams Qualify for WSOBV

By BJ Evans | July 23, 2014, 11:33 a.m. (ET)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 22, 2014) – Three U.S. beach volleyball teams qualified for the main draw on at the World Series of Beach Volleyball, an FIVB Grand Slam, on Tuesday.

The teams of Todd Rogers and Theo Brunner and also Casey Jennings and Avery Drost qualified for the men’s main draw. The team of Christal Engle and Heather Hughes qualified for the women’s main draw.

Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.), seeded third in qualifying, had a bye in the first round and defeated Austria’s Daniel Müllner and Jörg Wutzl in the second round, 14-21, 21-15, 18-16.

No. 13 seeded Drost (Redlands, Calif.) and Jennings (Las Vegas, Calif.) beat England’s Philip Smith and Gregg Weaver in the first round of qualifying (21-13, 24-22) and defeated Switzerland’s Sebastian Chevallier and Alexei Strasser (18-21, 22-20, 15-11) in the second.

Jennings said the turning point in the win was forgetting the importance of the match.

“We settled down,” Jennings said. “Once you get really hot and warm you start to forget what the match is worth. That’s really important. It took us a minute to get in the mindset of forgetting about what it was worth – getting into the main draw and all that. We just had to turn our brains off and play a little bit.”
No. 8 Engle an Hughes had a bye in the first round and defeated China’s No. 9 Yuanyuan Ma and Xinyi Xia, 21-19, 21-18 on the second.

“(Today’s match) was awesome,” Engle said. “I think we played our best that we have ever played together. It felt great.”

The teams of Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.) and also Ali Daley (Grass Valley, Calif.) and Kendra VanZwieten (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) competed in the qualifier but did not advance.

Main draw play in the World Series of Beach Volleyball begins Wednesday with the following U.S. teams competing:

No. 1 April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings
No. 12 Emily Day and Summer Ross
No. 13 Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat
No. 22 Lane Carico and Brittany Hochevar
No. 30 Heather Hughes and Christal Engle
No. 31 Nicole Branagh and Whitney Pavlik

No. 1 Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal
No. 7 Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty
No. 11 John Hyden and Tri Bourne
No. 12 Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson
No. 25 Todd Rogers and Theo Brunner
No. 31 Casey Jennings and Avery Drost