LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 24, 2013) – Four U.S. women’s beach volleyball teams have advanced to the second round of single elimination at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam while three U.S. men’s teams are 2-0 in pool play.
Women’s pool play concluded on Wednesday. The No. 8 seeded team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) were the only U.S. team to win their pool and advance straight to the second round after winning their final pool play match, defeating Switzerland’s No. 9 Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich, 21-10, 21-19 in 38 minutes. Fendrick and Hochevar
In Thursday’s second round, Fendrick and Hochevar will face their U.S. compatriots, No. 12 Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.). Fopma and Sweat lost their final pool play match on Wednesday to Brazil’s No. 5 Agatha Bednarczuk and Maria Antonelli (21-19, 29-27 in 45 minutes), but came back in the first round to defeat Czech Republic’s No. 23 Martina Bonnerová and Barbora Hermannová (21-8, 21-11 in 28 minutes).
The No. 1 seeded team of April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Jennifer Kessy (San Clemente, Calif.) came back from its Tuesday pool play loss to advance to the second round. The U.S. pair won its final pool play match against Finland’s Emilia Nystrom and Erika Nystrom by injury forfeit. In the first round, they topped Germany’s No. 14 Germany’s Victoria Bieneck and Julia Großner, a team they had never played before, 21-11, 14-21, 15-12 in 45 minutes.
“All the Germans are really good and a lot of them play similarly,” Ross said. “They like to get up and hit the ball and they have great hands. They can misdirect the ball. They have really good ball control. We knew they would be good.”
Kessy and Ross will play Brazil’s No. 5 Agatha Bednarczuk and Maria Antonelli, a team they are 0-3 against this season, in Thursday’s second round.
Finally, in the last match of the day on Wednesday, the No. 15 seeded team of Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) defeated Nystrom and Nystrom, 21-10, 21-15 in 30 minutes to advance to the second round where they will face Spain’s No. 6 Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan.
No. 27 seeded Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Annett Davis (Long Beach, Calif.) did not advance from pool play after finishing 1-2.
The U.S. men went 3-2 on Wednesday. No. 1 seeded Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) defeated Latvia’s Ruslans Sorokins and Toms Smedins, 21-19, 21-18 in 39 minutes.
Gibb and Patterson had the second set well in hand and reached match point at 20-14, before Latvia scored four straight points to fight off the loss. Gibb called a timeout and Latvia’s next serve went out of bounds.
“We played really well and then we put on the breaks there at the end for some reason,” Gibb said. “We let down our guard a little bit. But it was a nice win.”
No. 4 Phil Dalhausser (Ventura, Calif.) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) also took a 2-0 victory over Sweden’s No. 20 Hannes Brinkborg and Stefan Gunnarsson (21-18, 21-19 in 39 minutes). Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.), seeded No. 11, defeated Italy’s No. 27 Gianluca Casadei and Paolo Ficosecco (21-17, 21-15 in 36 minutes).
No. 22-seeded Nick Lucena (Davie, Fla.) and John Hyden (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) fell to Canada’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk (21-19, 18-21, 15-7 in 45 minutes) and No. 30 Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Stafford Slick (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) lost to Spain’s No. 14 Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrián Gavira Collado (18-21, 21-18, 15-11 in 52 minutes).