US Beach Teams Rock Long Beach

July 23, 2013, 10 p.m. (ET)
Lauren Fendrick celebrates against Great Britain
 Lauren Fendrick, right, celebrates during a match against Great Britain on July 23.

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail:
USAV Facebook - @USA_Volleyball - @USAV Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 23, 2013) – Ten U.S. beach volleyball teams came away from the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam with an overall record of 12-3 in pool play matches on Tuesday.

The U.S. women’s beach teams went 8-2 while the U.S. men went 4-1, highlighted by an upset win by No. 22-seeded Nick Lucena (Davie, Fla.) and John Hyden (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) over Brazil’s No. 5 Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego, 23-21, 21-16 in 39 minutes.

“It’s cool to play at home and beat one of the best teams in the world,” Lucena said. “It’s the first time I’ve beaten those guys. But it’s just one pool play victory so we can’t get too excited.”

Long Beach is the fifth FIVB tournament of the season for Lucena and Hyden and only the second where they have made it into the main draw.

“I thought we were siding out well,” Lucena said of Tuesday’s victory. “That’s what I envisioned when we got together, that we would be a tough sideout team.”

Lucena and Hyden will play Canada’s No. 12 Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk in their second pool play match on Wednesday. All the men’s teams in the tournament will play one pool play match on Wednesday and then a third on Thursday along with the first round of single-elimination.

In other U.S. men’s team matches on Tuesday, No. 1 seeded Jake Gibb (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Patterson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) defeated Italy’s No. 32 Alex Ranghieri and Andrea Tomatis, 21-17, 21-15 in 34 minutes.

No. 4 Phil Dalhausser (Ventura, Calif.) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) beat Switzerland’s No. 29 Switzerland’s Andreas Sutter and Roman Sutter, 24-22, 21-18 in 40 minutes. Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.), seeded No. 11, took a 25-23, 21-13 victory over No. 22 Maverick Hatch and Christian Redmann of Canada.

Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Stafford Slick (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 30, fell to Latvia’s No. 3 Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, 21-14, 21-15 in 40 minutes.

On the women’s side, the No. 15 seeded team of Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) went 2-0 along with No. 8 Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and also No. 12 Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.).

Ross and Day opened play on Tuesday with a 21-16, 22-20 win in 38 minutes over Italy’s No. 18 Viktoria Orsi Toth and Marta Menegatti. In their second match, played on stadium court, Ross and Day won a battle over Canada’s No. 31 Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke, 24-22, 18-21, 15-9 in 52 minutes.

“The key to winning was stamina I think,” Ross said. “It’s like a sauna in there.”

Both players credited the home crowd with helping them push through.

“We’re out of our normal routine,” Day said. “We’re used to traveling and not talking to anybody. But it’s nice to see familiar faces in the crowd.”

No. 1 seeded April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) went 1-1 on the day, defeating Poland’s No. 32 Aleksandra Wolak and Agnieszka Pregowska, 21-10, 21-12 in 27 minutes, but the losing to Switzerland’s No. 17 Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré, 21-19, 21-15 in 34 minutes.

No. 27 seeded Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Annett Davis (Long Beach, Calif.) also went 1-1, beating Spain’s No. 6 Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan, 12-21, 17-21 in 36 minutes before losing to Australia’s No. 11 Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy, 19-21, 21-18, 15-13 in 48 minutes.

The FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam is the sixth event on the 2013 World Tour and is the showcase part of the World Series of Beach Volleyball, a SoCal beach festival that includes the World Series Cup, four-person and six-person recreational events and nightly music concerts.

In addition to the international live FIVB telecasts, the event also includes 23 hours of live or same-day telecasts split between NBC Sports Network, Universal Network and NBC TV Network.

The women’s semifinals and medal matches of the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will be held on Friday with the men’s semifinals also on Friday and medal matches closing the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam on Saturday. Play Tuesday through Friday is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and at 11 a.m. on Saturday for the men’s medal matches.

The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900.

Team’s Named for World Series Cup

For the first time, elite U.S. pro beach volleyball stars and Olympians will take on the world in the inaugural World Series Cup to be played as part of the World Series of Beach Volleyball. The Ryder Cup-style tournament will be played July 27 and 28 in Long Beach, Calif. and will be broadcast live on NBC.

The two U.S. women’s teams who will battle head-to-head for a chance to take on the world will be three-time gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Whitney Pavlik and 2012 Olympic silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy.

On the men’s side 2008 Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser and two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal will take on the world’s No. 5 ranked team of two-time Olympian Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson for the right to battle the international men’s winner.

The international teams were selected based on winning the recent World Championships in Poland followed by the world ranking. The women’s side will be represented the top ranked women’s team of Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima of Brazil.  They will battle Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmier.

The men’s side will also feature the world’s No. 1 team from Brazil, Pedro Solberg Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt. They will square off against the Latvian team of Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs. Smedins captured the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.  In 2013, the duo has played in six World Tour events placing first in Argentina and picking up two second place finishes. They are ranked No. 4 in the world.