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USA Volleyball Beach Teams

USA Beach Volleyball Men Teams

Three U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams have played through to the third round while two women’s teams have advanced to the main draw Wednesday at the China Shanghai Jinshan Open, a SWATCH FIVB World Tour event.

The U.S. men’s teams of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), ranked No. 1, fourth-ranked Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and 11th-seeded Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) each won two matches on Wednesday to advance to Thursday’s third round.

Dalhausser and Rogers defeated Chinese wild card Li Lei and Liu Bin (seeded 32nd), 21-15, 21-10 in 34 minutes, for an opening win in the 32-team main draw before holding off 16th seeds Jefferson Bellaguarda and Patrick Heuscher of Switzerland, 21-12, 19-21, 15-13 in 51 minutes.

“We didn’t play our best, but we have more experience and deal with the key points better,” Dalhausser told the FIVB. “Anyway, we won the game eventually.”

It was tied at 13-all when Dalhausser gave the United States the match point with a smart dink shot and Rogers stopped Heuscher on the next play to secure the victory.

On Thursday, Dalhausser and Rogers will play Poland’s eighth-ranked Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek.

Fuerbringer and Lucena defeated Canada’s 29th-ranked Christian Redmann and Ben Saxton, 17-21, 21-17, 15-11 in 48 minutes in the first round. Next, they topped Germany’s 20th-ranked Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik, 21-17, 21-18 in 38 minutes. In Thursday’s third round, Fuerbringer and Lucena will face China’s fifth-ranked Wu Penggen and Xu Linyin.

Wu and Xu advanced with a come-from-behind win over 21st seeded Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Kevin Wong (Honolulu, Hawaii) of the United States in a second-round match of the winners’ bracket. Overcoming a sluggish 0-6 start and a 21-14 loss in the opening set, Wu and Xu claimed the next two sets 21-15, 15-13.

“Their counter-attack tactics worked very well against us in the first set, it took us a while to adjust,” said Xu Linyin, who was born in the city of Shanghai.

Jennings and Wong will move to the consolation bracket on Thursday and play Sweden’s 27th-ranked Stefan Gunnarsson and Hannes Brinkborg.

Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) made it to the third round after a first-round win over Austria’s 22nd-ranked Clemens Doppler and Matthias Mellitzer (21-17, 21-19 in 42 minutes) and a second-round upset of Germany’s sixth-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng (21-17, 17-21, 15-13 in 56 minutes).

Gibb and Rosenthal will play Germany’s third-ranked Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann on Thursday.

USA Beach Volleyball Women Teams

In women’s qualifying on Wednesday, the U.S. team of Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brooke Hanson (Woodland Hills, Calif.), ranked third in qualifying, sailed into the main draw with victories over Russia’s 30th-seeded Elizaveta Ryabova and Maria Ushkova (21-17, 21-13 in 28 minutes) and Australia’s 19th-ranked Natalie “Nat” Cook and Tara West (21-15, 21-10 in 30 minutes).

Fendrick and Hanson will be ranked 16th in Thursday’s first round of the main draw and will play Mexico’s 17th-seeded Candelas Bibiana and Mayra Garcia.

After winning the U.S. country quota match on Tuesday, Jen Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) ranked 42nd in qualifying, had to win three matches on Wednesday to advance.

They did just that, defeating Russia’s 23rd-seeded Alexandra Shiryaeva and Ekaterina Syrtseva (21-12, 22-20 in 32 minutes), Great Britain’s 10th-ranked Denise Johns and Lucy Boulton (18-21, 21-10, 15-10 in 40 minutes) and seventh seeds Erika Fabjan and Simona Fabjan of Slovenia (21-15, 22-20 in 40 minutes).

Fopma and Hochevar are ranked 32nd in the main draw and will have to open Thursday by playing top-ranked Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil in the first round.

Among the other U.S. women’s beach teams, sixth-seeded Jen Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) will play Germany’s 27th-ranked Jana Köhler and Julia Sude in the first round and eighth-ranked Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) will face Italy’s 27th-seeded Gioria Daniela and Giulia Momoli.

The men’s medal matches will be played on Saturday with the women’s following on Sunday.

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