TORRANCE, Calif. – The U.S. beach volleyball teams heading for the FIVB World Tour season opener in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are prepped and ready for the event that will take place Feb. 7-12.
The season opener FIVB World Tour stop, part of the Swatch Major Series, is a five-star event in the new FIVB tournament ranking categorization. In 2017, there are five five-star tournaments, three four-star and 17 one to three star tournaments. This year will also feature the FIVB Beach World Championships as well as the annual World Tour Finals.
In Fort Lauderdale, 18 evening matches will be played under stadium lights. Sunday's women's final will be broadcast on NBC2 and RedBullTV will stream both finals on their platform as well.
Half of the field in the main draw are new partnerships, but the U.S. does return three teams that have extensive experience together. 2016 Olympic bronze medalists April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings (#1 seed), Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena (#3 seed), and John Hyden and Tri Bourne (#10 seed).
The FIVB recently updated its sport regulations to allow the Host Country to register six teams, excluding the wild cards, at three to five star tournaments. Previously the wild cards were included in the six team maximum. With the update, a Host Country may have up to eight teams total in the tournament, which includes teams from wild cards and the reserve list.
|Fort Lauderdale 5-Star Roster|
|April Ross||Kerri Walsh Jennings||Marcio Sicoli||Main Draw|
|Brooke Sweat||Summer Ross||Ty Tramblie||Main Draw|
|Lauren Fendrick||Sara Hughes||Main Draw|
|Lane Carico||Irene Pollock||Jason Lochead||Main Draw Wild Card|
|Brittany Hochevar||Emily Day||Hector Gutierrez||Qualifier|
|Kelly Claes||Kelly Reeves||Qualifier Wild Card|
|Emily Stockman||Kimberly DiCello||Qualifier|
|Kendra Vanzwieten||Kelley Larsen||Reserve|
|Phil Dalhausser||Nick Lucena||Paul Baxter||Main Draw|
|John Hyden||Ryan Doherty*||Jon Daze||Main Draw|
|Jake Gibb||Taylor Crabb||Main Draw|
|Casey Patterson||Theo Brunner||Rich Lambourne||Main Draw Wild Card|
|Stafford Slick||Billy Allen||Qualifier|
|Sean Rosenthal||Trevor Crabb||Jeff Alzina||Qualifier Wild Card|
|Ryan Doherty||John Mayer||Tom Black||Reserve|
|Mark Burik||Bill Kolinske||Reserve|
|Phil Noyes||USAV Video Scout|
|Corinne Calabro||USAV Communications|
*Ryan Doherty will play in place of Tri Bourne for this event
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