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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A look at this week in beach volleyball, the top U.S. professional teams head for a two-week swing in Porec, Croatia and Gstaad, Switzerland. In the USA, the USAV Beach High Performance program and Junior Beach Tour prep for their upcoming championships.

The biggest news in beach volleyball is the return of the top American professional athletes to the FIVB World Tour. Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will return in Croatia, after having last played on June 9, following Lucena taking time off to be with family due to the birth of his second child. Kerri Walsh Jennings made her debut in her first tournament since February, with new partner Nicole Branagh.

BEACH NEWS | WORLD TOUR SCHEDULE | 2017 TOP 25 FINISHES | LEARN HOW TO JOIN USAV BEACH

Walsh Jennings and Branagh lost their qualifier match to Brittany Hochevar/Emily Day on the opening day of the Porec 5-Star tournament. It was their first match together since they played in an FIVB tournament in August of 2012. This season, Hochevar and Day have torn through three qualifiers for three Top 10 finishes, and are looking to make this the second tournament with a high finish after coming out of a country quota showdown – which they did so in Moscow, finishing there tied for ninth.

In Porec, Dalhausser/Lucena are the No. 1 men’s seed overall, at 11 and 12 in the main draw are Casey Patterson/Theo Brunner and Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb, respectively. In the women’s main draw are Brooke Sweat/Summer Ross, Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes and Lauren Fendrick/Lane Carico. Fendrick was originally scheduled to play the tournament with April Ross, but Ross is still recovering from an injury sustained two weeks ago.

FIVB Porec 5-Star Roster 
Athletes    Coach Entry
Brooke Sweat  Summer Ross Ty Tramblie Main Draw
Kelly Claes  Sara Hughes   Main Draw
Lauren Fendrick Lane Carico Jon Daze  Main Draw
Brittany Hochevar Emily Day Hector Gutierrez Qualifier/Country Quota
Kerri Walsh Jennings  Nicole Branagh Marcio Sicoli  Country Quota
       
Phil Dalhausser Nick Lucena Jason Lochhead Main Draw
Casey Patterson  Theo Brunner Rich Lambourne Main Draw
Jake Gibb Taylor Crabb Marcio Sicoli  Main Draw
John Hyden Ryan Doherty   Qualification
       
Staff       
Phil Noyes USAV Video Scout    
Anthony Darmiento USAV Strength and Conditioning    
Wayne Huber  Sports Medicine, DC    
Chip Carmichael  Sports Medicine, DC, DACBSP    
Tyler Widdison Scout    
       

COLLEGIATE BEACH OPEN
The High Performance zonal championships have concluded and now winning teams will make their way to the July 6-8 USAV Collegiate Beach Open, the national championship for the older age groups, and USA Junior Beach Championships, July 31-Aug. 2. The program’s Championship events will bring the four zones back together in competition for age-group titles, as well as the extended experience the athletes gain by playing through the pipeline. Programming in 2017 broke up the former Beach HP tryouts into a zonal format, focusing on four major skill assessment camps, then returning to the zones for A2 camps and then championships.

High Performance uses the camps to assess its junior beach national team programs annually, for teams that compete in tournaments like the 2017 FIVB U21 World Championships. Click here to view the Beach High Performance National Teams that the HP staff have identified in 2017. Click here to see the full Beach High Performance schedule.

JUNIOR BEACH TOUR
Only 13 tournaments remain on the Junior Beach Tour regular season schedule. The 13 events in 13 different lead up to the JBT Championships in Siesta Key, Florida, which run from July 20-25. Click here for complete information about Junior Beach Tour Championships, including athlete information, local deals and schedules.

WEEK IN REVIEW
Nantong 2-Star
– Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock tied for ninth, their second consecutive ninth-place finish on the World Tour

NORCECA Ochos Rios
– Miles Evans/Bill Kolinske won silver, a career best NORCECA finish for both
– Karissa Cook/Katie Spieler won bronze, in Cook’s international debut
– Jace Pardon/Lara Dykstra and Jon Mesko/Skylar Del Sol tied for fifth, respectively

UPCOMING EVENTS | Add to your schedule
June 27 – July 2 FIVB Porec 5-Star
July 4-9 FIVB Gstaad 5-Star
July 6-8 Collegiate Beach Open
July 6-9 AVP San Francisco
July 11-16 FIVB U21 World Championships
July 12-16 FIVB Long Beach Presidents Cup
July 14-16 NORCECA Varadero
July 14-16 FIVB Daegu 1-Star
July 19-23 FIVB Olsztyn 4-Star
July 20-22 FIVB Ulsan 1-Star
July 20-23 AVP Hermosa Beach
July 20-25 Junior Beach Tour Championships
July 21-23 FIVB Agadir 1-Star
July 28-30 FIVB Espinho 2-Star
July 28-Aug. 6 FIVB Beach World Championships
July 31-Aug. 2 USA Junior Beach Championships

Related Links
FIVB Porec country quota matches feature beach volleyball elite

USA Volleyball USA earns two medals at NORCECA Ochos Rios

USA Volleyball Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock tied ninth for second time in China

USA Volleyball Career firsts in AVP Seattle victories