Nine Beach Teams Still Playing in Long Beach

By BJ Evans | July 25, 2014, 11:16 a.m. (ET)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 25, 2014) – Six U.S. men’s beach teams and three U.S. women’s teams advanced from pool play on Thursday at the World Series of Beach Volleyball, an FIVB Grand Slam in Long Beach, Calif.

On the men’s side, four teams advanced straight to the second round of single-elimination while two women’s teams made it.

Finals for both genders will be played on Sunday. The WSOBV is one of only two Grand Slams this season with a million-dollar prize purse. The event is free.

In one of the most exciting matches of the day, No. 11 seeded John Hyden (Pensacola, Fla.) and Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii) beat Brazil’s No. 6 Emanuel Rego and Pedro Solberg Salgado, 18-21, 21-16, 18-16.

Down 10-8 in the third set, Bourne blocked Brazil three straight times to give his team the lead and new life.

“I get frustrated, but then the kid turns it around for us and that gives us some hope and a little lead,” Hyden said. “As soon as he comes alive and starts making some plays, then we’re really good. It’s big (to win the pool) because it’s so hot out here and it’s a game off. It’s huge.”

Bourne added: “This is why we play. This is why we work hard to play on this stage in our home country. This is huge for us, especially against Brazil. I couldn’t block anything at the beginning of the match. I was just looking for my groove, something to get me going and I found it right at the right time.”

No. 25 Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) also advanced to the second round. The U.S. pair came from behind continually to edge Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho, 12-21, 21-19, 15-10. In the deciding third set, Rogers and Brunner scored the last eight straight points of the deciding third set to win the match.

The other U.S. men’s teams to advance to the second round were No. 1 Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and No. 11 John Hyden (Pensacola, Fla.) and Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii).

On the women’s side, No. 1 April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) and No. 13 Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.) advanced to the second round.

Fendrick and Sweat got their third victory of the day in a battle against Spain’s No. 4 Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan, 21-17, 17-21, 17-15.

“They are a great team,” Fendrick said of the Spaniards. “They are never going to give up. Elsa got some heat stroke. It was pretty impressive to see her go down and be all dizzy and then play great out of the timeout.

“It was a defensive battle. Brooke busted out her jump serve, so that put them in some trouble at the end and allowed me to get two blocks at the end.”

In first-round matches on Friday, No. 12 Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.) will play Argentina’s No. 15 Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug. No. 7 Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.Y.) will face Poland’s No. 22 Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor. No. 31 Avery Drost (Redlands, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) will take on Latvia’s No. 5 Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins.