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The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of Angie Akers and Nicole Branagh has advanced to the main draw of Poland’s Mazury Orlen Grand Slam, part of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour, with a qualifying victory on Tuesday.

 

 

Meanwhile, the U.S. men’s team of Brad Keenan  and Casey Patterson won the U.S. country quota over compatriots Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena. Keenan and Patterson defeated Fuerbringer and Lucena, the silver medalists at last week’s FIVB World Tour event in Quebec, 13-21, 21-18, 15-13 in 53 minutes.

The U.S. men’s teams that will begin play in Thursday’s main draw are Quebec winners Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers; Quebec bronzed medalists Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal along with the returning team of Casey Jennings and Kevin Wong.

In the women’s bracket, Akers and Branagh were given the top seed in qualifying and received a bye to the second round where they defeated the British 16th-ranked team of Denise Johns and Lucy Boulton, 21-14, 24-22 in 39 minutes.

Akers and Branagh are ranked 19th in the main draw and will play in Pool C. Today they will open against Czech Republic’s 14th-ranked Hana Klapalova and Lenka Hajeckova before moving on to face China’s third-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang. On Thursday, they will complete pool play against Brazil’s 30th-seeded Liliane Maestrini and Angela Vieira.

Among other U.S. women’s teams, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, seeded second, will play in Pool B. They will open play Wednesday against Greece’s 18th-seeded Vasiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani and then play Switzerland’s 31st-seeded Joana Heidrich and Isabelle Forrer. On Thursday, May-Treanor and Walsh will go up against Switzerland’s 15th-seeded Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr.

Jen Kessy and April Ross, seeded fifth, will play in Pool E and will start against Georgia’s 28th-ranked Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Martins das Chagas today before facing Germany’s 21st-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Büthe. On Thursday, Kessy and Ross will go up against Germany’s 12th-ranked Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler.

Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Hanson ranked 17th, will play in Pool A, where they will open today against Brazil’s top-ranked Juliana Felisberta da Silva and Larissa Franca. In the afternoon, they will go up against Czech Republic’s 16th-seeded Kristyna Kolocova and Slukova Marketa.   On Thursday, Fendrick and Hanson will play Poland’s 32nd-ranked Sylwia Pilarek and Aneta Gancarczyk.

article courtesy of usavolleyball.org
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