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Three U.S. Women’s Beach Volleyball teams competed in the first day of the FIVB “Road to London” Visa International Test Event on Tuesday  at the Horse Guards Parade in London to test functionality and technical-aspects of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball test event spans from Aug. 9-14 in the first-ever international beach volleyball tournament staged in the British capital. The event welcomed 24-female teams from 15 countries to compete at the exact location that will house the beach volleyball portion of the zenith event of the sport’s world, the Olympics.

Four beach volleyball teams occupied each of the six pools in round-robin play on Tuesday in the first of three pool-play days.

Lisa Rutledge and Brittany Hochevar defeated China’s 18th-seeds Changning Zhang and Jingjing Dint, 21-18, 21-15in 33 minutes in Pool F. The Americans will face Brazil’s 19th-seeded team of Liliane Maestrini and Angela Vieira in Wednesday’s showdown. Rutledge and Hochevar will play Mexico’s sixth-seeded team of Candelas Bibiana and Mayra Garcia in their last pool-play match on Thursday.

Tealle Hunkus and Heather Lowe had a tough first-match in the exhibition beach volleyball tournament falling to Brazil’s fourth-seeded team of Vivian Danielle da Conceicao Cunha and Taiana Lima, 21-13, 21-17 in 31 minutes in Pool D. The 21st-seeded Americans look to chalk some wins against Great Britan’s Lucy Boulton and Denise Johns on Wednesday and Canada’s 16th-seeded team of Jamie Lynn Broder and Ashley Voth on Thursday.

Jen Kessy and April Ross charted a victory two hours earlier than scheduled due to safety concerns surrounding the London riots. The third-seeds knocked out a dominating 21-6, 21-8 win over Uganda’s 22nd-seeded team of Josephine Nammanda and Alice Gitta Okecho in Pool C.

Uganda was forced into a two-down defense to defend Kessy’s attacks. The American serves proved to be another issue for Nammanda and Okecho but the pair stayed in there and both teams remained great sports with the crowed cheering on both sides of the net.

The Americans will face Estonia’s Mari Graumann and Ennok Anu on Wednesday and 10th-seeds Kacie MacTavish and Julie Rodgrique of Canada on Thursday.

Despite the continuation of the devastating riots in London the safety of the players was the highest priority with every precaution necessary being made. Athletes turned to social media to reassure their wellbeing.

Kessy turned to Twitter to inform her friends, family and fans that she along with her compatriots were safe.

“Our match has been moved from 8 pm to 6 pm because of the riots. We are in a safe area with good security,” Kessy said under the Twitter  account, @JenniferKessy.

Round-robin pool play will continue through Thursday where the top 16 teams will advance into two days of knock-out matches on Friday and Saturday before the top four teams will compete in the semifinals and finals slated for Sunday.

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