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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – USA Volleyball got its season started on the beach, Tuesday, with the qualifier round of the FIVB World Tour Fort Lauderdale Major. On Wednesday, the main draw began and the Americans are off to a hot start.

Local Floridians Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena opened 2-0 with wins against Brazil and Austria. Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross debuted with a night match, beating The Netherlands in two quick sets.


The U.S. had three teams advance out of Tuesday’s qualifier: Sean Rosenthal/Trevor Crabb, Kelly Claes/Kelly Reeves, Brittany Hochevar/Emily Day. At the tournament, the U.S. is now featuring 11 teams in the main draw, of which two are partnerships from last year (Dalhausser/Lucena; Ross/Walsh Jennings).

The returning duos didn’t disappoint. Dalhausser and Lucena took down Brazil’s Harley Silva and Ricardo Santos 21-17, 21-18 in the mid-afternoon heat of Florida. Their next match came after 7 p.m. ET, playing under the stadium lights for the first time in the Swatch Major Series. Dalhausser and Lucena topped Austria’s Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst 21-16, 21-19. The two are looking to win their third pool play match on Thursday to have a bye directly into Friday’s second round.

Ross and Walsh Jennings’ only match of the day was at 6:30 p.m. ET and also featured the action under stadium lights. Ross mentioned it was a similar routine to playing at night at the Olympics and that it assisted them in preparing for their 21-18, 21-17 victory against The Netherlands’ Marleen van Iersel/Manon Flier. Ross and Walsh Jennings will play two matches on Thursday to close out pool play.

Wednesday’s highlights
A huge test for Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner came against Olympic gold medalists Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt. In the first frame, Patterson and Brunner dominated and made quick work at 21-14. The second, though closer in score, was dominated by Brunner’s blocking which continually shut down Brazil. They won the frame and match at 22-20.

Patterson and Brunner added to their terrific morning with another victory against a second 2016 Olympic team, Germany’s Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen. After falling 18-21 in the first set, the pair didn’t need any more motivation than that and rallied to take the three-set match 21-19, 17-15.

Sean Rosenthal and Trevor Crabb split 1-1 after a win against No. 2 seeded Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs of Latvia. Once again the U.S. team was a new partnership facing Olympic opponents, but Rosenthal and Crabb held the lead to win 25-23, 25-23. The pair dropped their second match, 21-13, 19-21, 15-8, to Russia.

Wednesday’s records
Dalhausser/Lucena 2-0
Rosenthal/Trevor Crabb 1-1
Brunner/Patterson 2-0
Gibb/Taylor Crabb 2-0
Hyden/Doherty 1-1
Ross/Walsh Jennings 1-0
Fendrick/Hughes 1-0
Claes/Reeves 0-1
Sweat/S. Ross 2-0
Hochevar/Day 0-1
Carico/Pollock 0-1

Fort Lauderdale 5-Star Roster 
Athletes    Coach Entry
April Ross  Kerri Walsh Jennings Marcio Sicoli Main Draw
Brooke Sweat  Summer Ross Ty Tramblie Main Draw
Lauren Fendrick Sara Hughes   Main Draw
Lane Carico  Irene Pollock Jason Lochead Main Draw Wild Card
Brittany Hochevar Emily Day Hector Gutierrez Qualifier
Kelly Claes  Kelly Reeves   Qualifier Wild Card
Emily Stockman Kimberly DiCello   Qualifier
Phil Dalhausser Nick Lucena Paul Baxter Main Draw
John Hyden Ryan Doherty* Jon Daze Main Draw
Jake Gibb Taylor Crabb   Main Draw
Casey Patterson  Theo Brunner Rich Lambourne Main Draw Wild Card
Stafford Slick Billy Allen   Qualifier
Sean Rosenthal Trevor Crabb Jeff Alzina Qualifier Wild Card
Phil Noyes USAV Video Scout    
Corinne Calabro USAV Communications    
Giuseppe Vinci  Scout    
Tyler Widdison Scout    

*Ryan Doherty will play in place of Tri Bourne for this event

UPCOMING EVENTS | Add to your schedule
Feb. 7-12 FIVB Fort Lauderdale 5-Star
Feb. 15-18 FIVB Kish Island (Men only) 3-Star
March 3-5 FIVB Shepparton 1-Star
March 17-19 FIVB Sydney (Women only) 2-Star

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