Ross, Walsh to Play in Stavanger Semis

By BJ Evans | June 27, 2014, 9:13 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 27, 2014) – The U.S. women’s beach team of April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings has advanced to the semifinals of the FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam in Norway while all four U.S. men’s teams advanced from pool play on Friday.

Seeded No. 1, Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) will play Slovakia’s No. 19 Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova in Saturday’s first semifinal. The winner will play the winner of the second semi between Spain’s No. 5 Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan and Netherlands’ No. 11 Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel.

On Friday, Ross and Walsh Jennings won their second-round match over Switzerland’s No. 30 Tanja Goricanec and Tanja Hüberli (21-16, 19-21, 15-10) and their third-round match over their U.S. teammates Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.), seeded No. 13 (21-16, 21-14).

Day and Summer Ross finished tied for fifth along with teammates No. 14 Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.), who also lost in the third round.

On the men’s side, the U.S. teams of Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.), seeded No. 1, and John Hyden (Pensacola, Fla.) and Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii), seeded No. 23, both won their pools and advanced to the second round.

Rosenthal and Dalhausser topped their pool by adding a 21-15, 21-16 win over Poland’s Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz to Thursday’s victories over Norway’s Mathias Berntsen and Anders Berntsen Mol and compatriots Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty.

“The game today was good for me and Phil,” Rosenthal said in an FIVB release. “We scored a lot of points, but we still have to clean up our side outs. There are some places in between where we lose some rallies, but for the most part we played well and we were scoring points and when we are doing that, we are hard to beat.

“Today was one of those days; some days you dig a lot of balls and some days you block a lot of balls, and some days you do not do either. Today was my day to do some defense.”

Dalhausser and Rosenthal did not drop a set in their three matches.

 “I did not even realize we had won every set so far,” Rosenthal added. “Hopefully we will do the same in the rest of the tournament, keep winning like that.

“Obviously the further you get, the tougher it gets. We’ve just got to keep playing our game and scoring points.”

The U.S. teams of Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), seeded No. 17, and Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), seeded No. 8, will both play first-round matches on Saturday.

Gibb and Patterson will face Kazakhstan’s No. 26 Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko. Doherty and Lucena will take on Netherlands’ No. 11 Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen.