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LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 25, 2014) – Two U.S. men’s beach teams have advanced to the semifinals of the World Series of Beach Volleyball, an FIVB Grand Slam, while two U.S. women’s teams advanced to the third round on Friday.
No. 25 Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.), who had to advance from the qualifier, will play in Saturday’s semifinals along with No. 1 Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.).
Dalhausser and Rosenthal will play Germany’s No. 16 Alexander Walkenhorst and Stefan Windscheif at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Rogers and Brunner will play Poland’s No. 2 Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek at noon. The finals will be played on Sunday.
Rogers and Brunner won their second round match on Friday against Poland’s No. 22 Losiak and Kantor, 21-16, 21-18. In the third round, they survived a battle with Latvia’s No. 5 Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins, 21-18, 15-21, 15-13.
“Theo and I are really having a great tournament,” Rogers said. “We have played a lot of three-setters, but that helps us gain more confidence and learn how to play better together as we win them. He is really growing by leaps and bounds and listens well and responds well to constructive suggestions. It has really been enjoyable playing this week at home and the final four is a great bonus.”
Dalhausser and Rosenthal beat Brazil’s Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves, 21-18, 21-15 in the second round. They topped Netherlands’ Jon Stiekema and Christiaan Varenhorst, 20-22, 21-17, 15-13 in the third round.
On the women’s side, No. 1 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 third round after surviving second-round battles.
Ross and Walsh Jennings held off Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Julie Sude, 21-18, 18-21, 17-15. Fendrick and Sweat defeated Brazil’s No. 2 Maria Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta, 30-28, 21-17.
“We played that team, Juliana, last week and just got crushed,” Sweat said. “It felt good to come out and get a good win against that team.
“(The end of the first set) felt really good. We were in it the whole time I felt like. We were down a lot, but once we got back kind of even, it felt like we were in control and it gave us some confidence going into game 2.”
Fendrick and Sweat will play Spain’s fourth-seeded Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo in the third round on Saturday while Ross and Walsh Jennings will play Netherlands’ No. 8 Marleen Van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink.