U.S. Beach Teams Qualify for the Main Draw in Moscow

By Jessica Hall | June 11, 2014, 5:06 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 11, 2014) - The U.S. beach volleyball team of Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty advanced to the main draw of the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam, as play began on Wednesday in Moscow, Russia. 

Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) had a bye through the first round of qualifications after being seeded third. In the second round, the two-some were up against Venezuela’s Igor Hernandez and Jesus Villafane in qualifying, but made it through to the main draw with a 21-16, 21-13 victory. The main draw is set to begin on Thursday.

“I thought we played well,” Lucena said in an FIVB release. “Hernandez was injured so we took advantage of that and that’s fortunate for us and unfortunate for them and we hope he gets better. It is always good to get into the main draw.

“These teams are the best in the world and we could easily have lost it. I’m not taking anything for granted and we’ll see if we can do well.”

The U.S. team of Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii) and John Hyden (Pensacola, Fla.), who also competed in the qualifying bracket, defeated Ghana’s Edward Seidu Ajanako and Jonathan Scott Sarpong 21-12, 21-9 to advance to the second round, where they upset Spain’s No. 8 qualifying seed Francisco Alfredo Marco and Christian Garcia 21-18, 21-15.

Lucena/Doherty and Bourne/Hyden will join fellow Americans Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) as well as Jacob Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) in main draw pool play starting Thursday.

Top-seeded Dalhausser and Rosenthal will compete in pool A against Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin. Hyden and Bourne will take on Netherlands’ No. 4 Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen in pool D. Gibb and Patterson will compete in pool F against Kazakhstan’s No. 22 Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko while Doherty and Lucena will take on Russia’s No. 9 Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov in pool H.

On the women’s side, the team of Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Jennifer Fopma (Costa Mesa, Calif.) qualified for the main draw after a first-round bye and defeating Russia’s Olga Motrich and Yulia Abalakina 21-16, 21-19 in the second round. They join four fellow American teams in the main draw on Thursday: April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (Manhattan Beach, Calif.); Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.); Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Hermosa Beach, Calif.); and wild card Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Hermosa Beach, Calif.).

No. 2 Ross and Walsh square off against Czech Republic’s No. 31 Martina Bonnerova and Barbora Hermannova in pool B before facing Switzerland’s No. 18 Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich on the first day of the main draw. No. 19 Pavlik and Fopma will open against China’s No. 14 Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia in pool C, followed by Germany’s No. 3 Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler.  In pool E, No. 21 Carico and Hochevar will take on Czech Republic’s No. 12 Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova, followed by Brazil’s No. 5 Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas De Freitas. Fendrick and Sweat take on China’s No. 22 Fan Wang and Yuan Yue in pool F before concluding the day against Argentina’s No. 27 Ana Gallay and Gerogina Klug. Day and Ross, seeded eighth, will pair up against Canada’s No. 25 Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan to start pool H before concluding the first day of group play versus another Canadian pair, No. 24 Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas.