MASON, Ohio – After a monumental week on the FIVB World Tour in the United States, teams make the final two-tournament push for the Olympics in Russia and Germany.
April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings earned their third gold of the Olympic qualifying season and Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena picked up their ninth medal as teams closed out the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP.
The men’s Cincinnati Open medal matches will air tape delayed on NBC Sports Network on May 22 at 3 p.m. ET.
In Cincinnati, the USA was represented by seven men’s and women’s teams in the main draw. When the elimination rounds came around, six teams in both genders advanced. For Olympic hopeful teams, April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings added 500 points with their gold medal, Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat added points with their fifth-place finish and Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day just missed the mark to improve their points, finishing 17th.
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena now have 11 events and need just one more to satisfy the 12-event minimum requirement. Each finish up to now has been a straight point gain for them, instead of point ratio like other teams that have met the minimum events needed. Their bronze gives them a 400 point boost. Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson will see a 60-point increase with their fifth place finish, as will John Hyden/Tri Bourne who also tied for fifth.
|4||Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross||12||5,790||4||Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena||11||5,480|
|14||Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat||17||4,470||7||Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson||16||5,240|
|18||Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day||20||3,980||t12||John Hyden/Tri Bourne||18||4,790|
Entering Moscow, Dalhausser/Lucena will become the No. 4 team overall in the provisional Olympic rankings, with 5,480 points. The pair now pass the previous American men’s point leaders Gibb/Patterson, who are No. 7 in the new standings with 5,240 points.
Ross/Walsh Jennings are also fourth in the new rankings, with 5,790 points, followed by Fendrick/Sweat at 14th with 4,470 points.
Looking to break into the top two USA spots within the final two weeks are Hyden/Bourne, 4,790 points, and Kessy/Day, 3,980 points. The final two events before the June 13 closing will provide Grand Slam points – 800 points for the winning team, 720 for second place and 640 for third.
TWO FIVB TOURNAMENTS LEFT BEFORE OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION VIA RANKINGS
Just two events remain before the provisional Olympic rankings close on June 13. Teams will play in two final tournaments for grand slam points, in Moscow, Russia, and Hamburg, Germany.
Dalhausser and Lucena are the lone team out of the top three USA pairs in both genders to have not met the minimum 12 event requirement – they have 11. For the other five teams in the hunt for a bid to the Olympics, they will use the final two events to improve their top 12 finishes for the provisional Olympic rankings. Though Ross/Walsh Jennings and Gibb/Patterson have met the minimum requirements to earn the U.S. a quota spot, the final two tournaments give them opportunities to improve in the rankings, which would improve how they could be seeded in pool play at the Olympics.
FIVB WORLD TOUR WILL RETURN TO THE USA IN AUGUST
Following the Olympics in August, the FIVB World Tour will return to the United States for the Long Beach Grand Slam (World Series of Beach Volleyball) starting Aug. 23. It is expected to draw the four American Olympic teams, as well as a large contingent from other countries.
WEEK IN REVIEW
FIVB Cincinnati Open
– Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross won gold, their seventh medal of Olympic qualification; duo met the minimum requirements to qualify USA for an Olympic berth
– Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena won bronze in their ninth medal of Olympic qualification; they need one more tournament to meet minimum requirements to qualify for an Olympic berth
– Ryan Doherty/John Mayer had a team best fourth-place finish
– Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat tied for fifth, improving their provisional Olympic rankings by dropping a 17th-place finish out of their top 12 in Olympic qualification
– Tri Bourne/John Hyden and Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson tied for fifth, improving in provisional Olympic points dropping one of their 9th-place finishes from their top 12
– Tied for ninth: Trevor/Taylor Crabb; Lane Carico/Summer Ross
– Tied for 17th: Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day; Kimberly DiCello/Kendra Vanzwieten; Irene Pollock/Caitlin Ledoux; Jeremy Casebeer/Derek Olson
– Tied for 25th: Todd Rogers/Robbie Page; Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar
– Eliminated in qualification: Kelly Reeves/Ali McColloch; Ian Satterfield/Raffe Paulis
May 24-29 Moscow Grand Slam
June 2-5 AVP Seattle
June 7-12 Hamburg Grand Slam
June 14-19 Olsztyn Grand Slam
June 16-19 AVP New York City
June 23-25 NVL San Antonio
June 28-July 3 Porec Major
July 1-3 NORCECA North Bay