Fopma, Sweat Qualify for Fuzhou Main Draw

April 24, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail:
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 24, 2013) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat won its qualifying match on Wednesday and has advanced to the main draw of the FIVB Fuzhou Open in China.

Meanwhile, three U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams went undefeated on the first day of main draw pool play.

Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.), who were seeded ninth in the qualifying bracket, defeated eighth-seeded Jantine van der Vlist and Marloes Wesselink of Netherlands, 21-17, 21-17 in 34 minutes on Wednesday to advance to the main draw.

In the men’s main draw, second-seeded Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) rolled through their first two Pool B matches. The U.S. pair defeated Russia’s No. 31 Maksim Hudyakov and Alexey Pastukhov, 21-15, 21-10 in 30 minutes and Netherlands’ Daan Spijkers and Steven van de Velde, 21-16, 21-18 in 37 minutes. On Thursday, Dalhausser and Rosenthal will complete pool play against Poland’s 15th-seeded Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz. Men’s single-elimination play will begin on Friday.

The ninth-seeded U.S. team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) opened play in Pool H on Wednesday with a 21-14, 25-23 victory over Australia’s 24th-ranked Isaac Kapa and Christopher McHugh. In their second match, Gibb and Patterson got past France’s Andy Cès (husband of U.S. beach volleyball player Jennifer Kessy) and Edouard Rowlandson, 21-18, 17-21, 15-11 in 49 minutes.  Gibb and Patterson will finish pool play on Thursday against No. 8 Linyin Xu and Peng Gao of China.

The 10th-seeded U.S. pair of Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) won two three-set matches in Pool G on Wednesday. In the morning, Doherty and Rogers defeated Norway’s No. 23 Iver Andreas Horrem and Geir Eithun, 21-18, 16-21, 15-11 in 56 minutes. In the afternoon, Doherty and Rogers beat Russia’s 26th-seeded Konstantin Semenov and Yaroslav Koshkarev, 21-17, 18-21, 18-16 in 49 minutes. On Thursday, Doherty and Rogers will close pool play against Poland’s No. 7 Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel.

In the women’s bracket, the highest seeded U.S. team is No. 4 April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Jennifer Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), who will open play in Pool D on Thursday morning against their U.S. compatriots, Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Ind.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.), who are seeded 20th. In the afternoon, Ross and Kessy will play Poland’s No. 29 Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek while Fendrick and Branagh will face Switzerland’s 13th-seeded Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich. On Friday, Ross and Kessy will close pool play against Zumkehr and Heidrich while Fendrick and Branagh will get Kolosinka and Brzostek.

The first round of women’s single elimination will also be played on Friday.

The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) are seeded No. 27 and playing in Pool E. They will open play on Thursday against sixth-seeded Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova of Czech Republic before moving on to play Spain’s Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan, ranked No. 11, in the afternoon. Ross and Hochevar will close out pool play on Friday against Canada’s No. 22 Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney.

Fopma and Sweat were seeded 28th in the main draw and will play in Pool E. On Thursday morning, they will take on Germany’s fifth-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler. In the afternoon, they will face Brazil’s No. 12 Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas De Freitas. On Friday, Fopma and Sweat will close pool play against Switzerland’s No. 21 Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré.

For more information on the Fuzhou Open, click here.

All of the men’s and women’s semifinal and final matches will be shown live on