COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Four pairs of USAV beach athletes took home gold last week on the FIVB World Tour and NORCECA Continental Tour.
It marked just the 14th time that Americans swept gold on the FIVB World Tour, adding to that list were Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings.
The gold for Dalhausser and Lucena was their fifth of Olympic qualification and eighth medal overall. An impressive feat for the two, considering they’ve played in 10 tournaments together since joining last August.
|6||Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross||11||5,290||5||Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson||14||5,120|
|t13||Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat||16||4,410||7||Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena||10||5,080|
|t16||Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day||17||3,980||t14||John Hyden/Tri Bourne||15||4,570|
Following Dalhausser/Lucena’s gold in Fuzhou, China, the pair moved up in provisional Olympic rankings from 13th to seventh. Ross and Walsh Jennings also saw a boost from their gold medal performance, improving from eighth to sixth.
From last week, second ranked Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat remain at 13th, but increase their total points to 4,410. Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day fell one slot to 16th. John Hyden and Tri Bourne earned fifth in Fuzhou and gold in Xiamen, and after both performances moved from 16th to 14th with a net increase of 330 points.
The provisional Olympic rankings is based on a team’s 12 best finishes. Once a team meets the minimum events needed, they drop any lower finishes from that point on – increasing their new point total with the net gain from the higher finish.
PHIL DALHAUSSER AND NICK LUCENA TO APPEAR ON TODAY SHOW
On Wednesday, April 27, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will appear on the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer. The 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls will teach the Today Show hosts volleyball skills on a sand court in Rockefeller Plaza, on the 100 Day Out mark from the Olympic Games. Fans can watch the show, set to air around 8:30 a.m. ET.
TOP MEN’S TEAM PLAYS IN FORTALEZA, BRAZIL
U.S. men’s point leaders Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson are seeded first at the Fortaleza Open in Brazil, the fourth tournament in the Olympic host country during 2016. It is the first event back for Gibb and Patterson since they placed fifth at the Qatar Open on April 7.
Five women’s teams will make the trip to Brazil, including last week’s fifth-place finishers in Fuzhou, China, Lane Carico and Summer Ross. They’re joined by Kim DiCello/Kendra Vanzwieten, Irene Pollock/Caitlin Ledoux, Brittany Hochevar/Jennifer Fopma and Emily Stockman/Amanda Dowdy.
USA TOPS ON NORCECA TOUR
Trevor and Taylor Crabb repeated as gold medalists at the NORCECA Cayman Islands. Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen also took home the top prize.
Flint/Larsen improved on their bronze from Tamarindo, while the gold for the Crabb brothers was their second and fourth medal this season. Ed Ratledge and Ty Loomis, in their first NORCECA event of the season, won bronze.
AVP HUNTINGTON BEACH OPEN FIRST WEEKEND OF MAY
The AVP Huntington Beach Open opens play next week on May 5. One of the pinnacle events in beach volleyball, the HBO is free and open to the public. Qualification rounds begin on Thursday, followed by opening rounds on Friday and the finals on Sunday, May 8. Watch the action on NBC Sports Network on Sunday from 4-5:30 p.m. ET.
WEEK IN REVIEW
FIVB Fuzhou Open
– Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena won their fifth gold of Olympic qualification and eighth medal in same time frame
– April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings won their second gold of Olympic qualification and sixth total in same time frame
– John Hyden/Tri Bourne; Lane Carico/Summer Ross finished fifth
– Tying for ninth: Jennifer Kessy/Emily; Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat
– Eliminated in qualification: Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar; Ian Satterfield/Mark Burik
NORCECA Grand Cayman
– Betsi Flint/Kelley Larsen won gold in an international career best for both
– Trevor Crabb/Taylor Crabb won gold, their second of 2016; fourth medal in 2016
– Ed Ratledge/Ty Loomis won bronze in their first NORCECA tournament together
– Geena Urango/Angela Bensend finished fifth in their first NORCECA tournament of 2016
April 26-May 1 Fortaleza Open
May 3-8 Sochi Open
May 5-8 AVP Huntington Beach Open
May 10-15 Antalya Open
May 11-16 U21 World Championships
May 17-22 Cincinnati Open
May 20-22 NVL Port St. Lucie
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 24-26 NVL San Antonio
June 28-July 3 Porec Major