COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson finished fifth at the Qatar Open late Thursday night in an effort that improved the U.S. point leaders’ provisional Olympic rankings.
Gibb and Patterson needed to finish fifth or better to improve on their fifth-place standing in provisional Olympic rankings, as of April 4. Coming into the event in Doha, Qatar, the pair had three consecutive ninth-place finishes but this time around earned the minimum they needed for a boost.
On his return from a back injury sustained in Maceio, Brazil, John Hyden finished 17th with partner Tri Bourne, falling short of the ninth-or-better goal for their standings to improve. The pair are the third-ranked U.S. men’s team, trailing 340 points behind Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena with 4,580 and Gibb/Patterson’s 5,060.
Gibb and Patterson opened the tournament as the No. 1 seed but went 2-1 in pool play after faltering 26-24, 21-14 to Russia. Instead of earning the bye to advance directly to round two, the pair met host Qatar in the first round, winning 21-18, 21-17. In the round of 16, Gibb and Patterson topped Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel 21-16, 21-19. It was a second Poland team that halted them though, this time in round three. Bartosz Losiak/Piotr Kantor swept the match 21-18, 21-17. Despite the loss, the fifth-place finish snaps the three-consecutive ninth-place showings Gibb and Patterson had and is their best finish since late August when they won silver at the Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland.
Hyden and Bourne were eliminated in the first round after a three set loss to Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Haralds Regza, 21-23, 24-22, 15-10. The pair had a rocky start to the tournament, opening with a win against Brazil but following with back-to-back losses to Austrian teams.
The FIVB World Tour continues in China with the dual gendered Xiamen and Fuzhou Opens. There are eight events remaining in the Olympic rankings qualification time period, which closes on June 13. Of those events, one will come to the U.S., the Cincinnati Open May 17-22, and two Grand Slams as the final two events to close the provisional Olympic rankings.
WEEK IN REVIEW
FIVB Qatar Open
– Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson finished fifth, tying their third-best finish in qualification; their 13th T10 finish in Olympic qualification
– John Hyden/Tri Bourne finished 17th in their first event in over five weeks, their 13th Top 25 finish in Olympic qualification
– Eliminated in qualification were: Mark Burik/Ian Satterfield
April 12-17 Xiamen Open
April 14-17 AVP New Orleans
April 19-24 Fuzhou Open
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
FIVB Top seeds leave sticky start behind to make smooth progress
FIVB Copacabana chase continues