FIVB Fort Lauderdale: Big day for Sweat, Ross, strong play by USA men

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Sara Hughes makes a diving save as partner Lauren Fendrick looks on/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest Volleyball phtoography

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A quirk in the schedule — and three consecutive victories — gave Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross a huge break in the Fort Lauderdale Major.

After they finished off their undefeated run early Thursday afternoon, it was suggested to Sweat that the Fort Myers, Fla., native had time to take part in one of the favorite pastimes:

Hunting for alligators.

“Yeah, let’s go,” she said with a big grin. “Plenty of time.”

But in the first event of the 2017 FIVB World Tour, Sweat and Ross have bigger game to pursue. When they resume play in the round of 16 on Friday, they can move up a lot higher than many might have expected from the new pairing.

But to them, they’re just about right where they expected to be and they give a lot of credit to coach Ty Tramblie.

“I’m so confident in our team,” Sweat said. “We’ve had a good month of training with our coach, so we were confident. A shaky start, but I’m proud of how we’ve progressed every match and I hope we can keep it going.”

Ty Tramblie
Coach Ty Tramblie has led Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross in the round of 16 at FIVB Fort Lauderdale/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Both are effusive in their praise for the 36-year-old Tramblie, still an active player on the AVP Tour in the United States. The 6-foot Tramblie is one of the high-jumping players after whom Sweat, one of the top defenders in the world, has patterned her game.

“Ty is the glue to this team,” Sweat said. “When we were talking about coaches, he was the only one that came to Summer’s mind. Ty is so talented. When I started playing, he was the person I watched on the guys’ side. On defense, he’s one of the best and not only that, he was an awesome blocker indoors.

“He’s helping Summer so much with that and he can still give me feedback on defense. Some coaches shy away from that because they think I can just be me. He brings this energy to the team that’s so positive. We have the best time together. I didn’t know this was possible.”

Ross, of course, has been one of the American talents fans have been waiting for to emerge. She was the first female player to win FIVB World Age Group championships in the under-19 and under-21 divisions in the same year (2010).

“Summer is probably one of the most talented players out here,” Sweat said. “Working with Ty, he’s opened up this whole new level to our game. We’ve got to bring it from the practice court to the competition court now, but people are going to be absolutely blown away when they see everything she can do.”

Olympic gold-medalist Kira Walkenhorst of Germany, playing in this event with Julia Grossner as Laura Ludwig’s surgically repaired shoulder heals, discovered that.

Sweat and Ross scored a 21-14, 21-13 win over the Germans, with Ross taking charge at the net with three blocks and forcing a lot of changed shots that defensive specialist Sweat turned into transition points.

“Brooke and my coach fired me up and they were on me yesterday,” Ross said. “I was really frustrated but today was better. They were telling me to line up on your hitter and get in her face.

“I love playing with Brooke. So much experience, she gives me a lot of tidbits, helping me along. Everything is good stuff and I’ve got to do what she says.”

kerri-walsh
Kerri Walsh and partner April Ross are 3-0 in pool play and earned a bye into the round of 16 single elimination playoff/FIVB photo

Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross captured pool A with a late-night win over Brazilian silver medalist Barbara Seixas and her new partner, Fernanda Alves. With the schedule being pushed back by an afternoon storm, Walsh Jennings and Ross rallied for a 17-21, 21-18, 15-8 victory.

Emily Day
Emily Day and partner Brittany Hochevar came out of qualifying to finish 2-1 in pool and advance to the knockout round/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest Volleyball Photography

After Wednesday’s trouncing at the hands of Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa, Brittany Hochevar and Emily cracked through with two wins to advance to Friday’s elimination rounds.

Day’s back-to-back stuff blocks late in the third set helped seal a 21-19, 15-21, 15-11 win over Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands, then Day rolled to a 21-19, 21-14 victory over Germans Isabel Schneider and Victoria Bieneck.

Brittany Hochevar
Brittany Hochevar (passing) and Emily Day will play the Netherlands’ Joy Stubbe and Jolien Sinnema in the first round of elimination playoffs/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest Volleyball Photography

“We knew we had to get the job done today,” Hochevar said. “It’s a long tournament, and in pool play you just have to stay in the fight. We took the focus back on our side of the net and when we execute our stuff and do what we’ve been talking about since January, then we can tangle with anybody out here.

“We stayed in the game plan and little by little, those inches added up and so in the third set we had it and Emily went big time. Massive.”

Jake Gibb (right) and new partner Taylor Crabb finished 3-0 in pool/FIVB
Jake Gibb (right) and new partner Taylor Crabb finished 3-0 in pool/FIVB photo

Three American men’s teams also went undefeated in pool play to reach the round of 16. Top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will face German Olympians Markus Bockermann and Lars Fluggen, No. 11 Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb take on Canadians Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter, and No. 14 Theo Brunner and Casey Patterson meet Brazilians Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola.

John Hyden and Ryan Doherty, a team thrown together at the last minute when Hyden’s partner, Tri Bourne, had to pull out with an injury, reached the round of 16 with a 19-21, 21-12, 15-12 win over Italians Alex Ranghieri and Marco Caminati. They’ll face No. 15 Russians Nikita Liamin and Viacheslav Krasilnikov Friday.

Trevor Crabb
Trevor Crabb (hitting) and Sean Rosenthal came out of the qualifier and advanced from pool with a 2-1 record to finish 17th/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest Volleyball Photography

The new pairing of Sean Rosenthal and Trevor Crabb, who had to win twice in qualifying to reach the main draw, got to the first knockout round before bowing out to Spanish Olympians Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera in an epic 21-18, 19-21, 25-23 decision that was interrupted for 40 minutes by a passing thunderstorm.

“We played a good first set, the second set the same, then we had that long break so it felt like we played 4 1 /2 sets right there,” Rosenthal said. “At least the weather cooled down a bit so that kind of helped but it was a battle. Those guys are one of the best teams, they have been for years. It’s something for Trevor and I to look at the positive. We needed more than a 17th (place) points-wise but we’ll take it, build on it and get better.”

Men’s Winners Bracket

Round 1
Match 49: Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen Germany (19) def. Janis Smedins/Aleksandrs Samoilovs Latvia (2) 21-19, 21-19 (1:19)
Match 50: Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt Brazil (3) def. Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt Chile (23) 19-21, 21-15, 18-16 (1:35)
Match 51: Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter Canada (12) def. Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin Russia (16) 21-17, 22-20 (0:37)
Match 52: Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola Brazil (8) def. Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst Austria (17) 18-21, 21-19, 18-16 (1:01)
Match 53: Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira Spain (6) def. Sean Rosenthal/Trevor Crabb United States (31, Q12) 21-18, 19-21, 25-23 (1:42)
Match 54: Nico Beeler/Marco Krattiger Switzerland (29, Q10) def. Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk Canada (7) 22-20, 21-18 (0:35)
Match 55: Michael Plantinga/Grant O’Gorman Canada (21) def. Pedro Solberg/Gustavo Carvalhaes Brazil (4) 21-14, 21-19 (0:35)
Match 56: John Hyden/Ryan Doherty United States (24) def. Alex Ranghieri/Marco Caminati Italy (22) 19-21, 21-12, 15-12 (0:44)
Round 2
Match 57: Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena United States (1) vs. Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen Germany (19)
Match 58: Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak Poland (5) vs. Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt Brazil (3)
Match 59: Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb United States (11) vs. Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter Canada (12)
Match 60: Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson United States (14) vs. Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola Brazil (8)
Match 61: Grzegorz Fijalek/Michal Bryl Poland (13) vs. Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira Spain (6)
Match 62: Alvaro Filho/Saymon Barbosa Brazil (9, Q1) vs. Nico Beeler/Marco Krattiger Switzerland (29, Q10)
Match 63: Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo Italy (10) vs. Michael Plantinga/Grant O’Gorman Canada (21)
Match 64: Nikita Liamin/Viacheslav Krasilnikov Russia (15) vs. John Hyden/Ryan Doherty United States (24)     

Women’s Match Play

Pool A — Round 1
Match 1: April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings United States (1) def. Manon Nummerdor-Flier/Marleen Van Iersel Netherlands (32, Q7) 21-18, 21-17 (0:32)
Match 2: Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas Brazil (16, Q2) def. Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen Finland (17) 21-11, 21-15 (0:35)
Round 2
Match 17: April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings United States (1) def. Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen Finland (17) 21-19, 21-17 (0:38)
Match 18: Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas Brazil (16, Q2) def. Manon Nummerdor-Flier/Marleen Van Iersel Netherlands (32, Q7) 21-18, 21-14 (0:30)
Round 3
Match 33: April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings United States (1) def. Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas Brazil (16, Q2) 17-21, 21-18, 15-8 (0:48)
Match 34: Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen Finland (17) def. Manon Nummerdor-Flier/Marleen Van Iersel Netherlands (32, Q7) 19-21, 21-16, 15-9 (0:48)
Pool B —  Round 1
Match 3: Jolien Sinnema/Joy Stubbe Netherlands (31, Q6) def. Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca Brazil (2) 21-18, 18-21, 15-12 (0:42)
Match 4: Lauren Fendrick/Sara Hughes United States (18) def. Louise Bawden/Nicole Laird Australia (15) 21-15, 21-14 (0:31)
Round 2
Match 19: Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca Brazil (2) def. Lauren Fendrick/Sara Hughes United States (18) 21-17, 21-17 (0:32)
Match 20: Jolien Sinnema/Joy Stubbe Netherlands (31, Q6) def. Louise Bawden/Nicole Laird Australia (15) 19-21, 21-10, 15-9 (0:40)
Round 3
Match 35: Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca Brazil (2) def. Louise Bawden/Nicole Laird Australia (15) 21-16, 21-17 (0:31)
Match 36: Lauren Fendrick/Sara Hughes United States (18) def. Jolien Sinnema/Joy Stubbe Netherlands (31, Q6) 21-15, 21-17 (0:31)
Pool C — Round 1
Match 5: Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude Germany (3) def. Kelly Claes/Kelly Reeves United States (30, Q9) 21-12, 21-17 (0:30)
Match 6: Josemari Alves/Liliane Maestrini Brazil (14, Q1) def. Marta Menegatti/Rebecca Perry Italy (19) 21-14, 21-11 (0:30)
Round 2
Match 21: Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude Germany (3) def. Marta Menegatti/Rebecca Perry Italy (19) 21-13, 21-13 (0:28)
Match 22: Kelly Claes/Kelly Reeves United States (30, Q9) def. Josemari Alves/Liliane Maestrini Brazil (14, Q1) 20-22, 21-15, 15-11 (0:59)
Round 3
Match 37: Josemari Alves/Liliane Maestrini Brazil (14, Q1) def. Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude Germany (3) 21-19, 21-16 (0:36)
Match 38: Kelly Claes/Kelly Reeves United States (30, Q9) def. Marta Menegatti/Rebecca Perry Italy (19) 21-12, 16-21, 15-6 (0:45)
Pool D — Round 1
Match 7: Julia Grossner/Kira Walkenhorst Germany (4) def. Sandra Ittlinger/Teresa Mersmann Germany (29, Q5) 21-13, 21-12 (0:29)
Match 8: Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat United States (13) def. Kristina May/Taylor Pischke Canada (20) 21-16, 15-21, 15-12 (0:30)
Round 2
Match 23: Julia Grossner/Kira Walkenhorst Germany (4) def. Kristina May/Taylor Pischke Canada (20) 21-14, 15-21, 15-4 (0:40)
Match 24: Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat United States (13) def. Sandra Ittlinger/Teresa Mersmann Germany (29, Q5) 21-13, 21-12 (0:28)
Round 3
Match 39: Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat United States (13) def. Julia Grossner/Kira Walkenhorst Germany (4) 21-14, 21-13 (0:31)
Match 40: Sandra Ittlinger/Teresa Mersmann Germany (29, Q5) def. Kristina May/Taylor Pischke Canada (20) 21-18, 21-17 (0:35)
Pool E — Round 1
Match 9: Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda Lisboa Brazil (5) def. Emily Day/Brittany Hochevar United States (28, Q4) 21-16, 21-10 (0:29)
Match 10: Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (21) def. Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel Netherlands (12) 19-21, 21-19, 15-13 (0:44)
Round 2
Match 25: Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda Lisboa Brazil (5) def. Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (21) 21-11, 21-15 (0:28)
Match 26: Emily Day/Brittany Hochevar United States (28, Q4) def. Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel Netherlands (12) 21-19, 15-21, 15-11 (0:48)
Round 3
Match 41: Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel Netherlands (12) def. Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda Lisboa Brazil (5) 30-28, 21-17 (1:22)
Match 42: Emily Day/Brittany Hochevar United States (28, Q4) def. Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (21) 21-19, 21-14 (0:35)
Pool F — Round 1
Match 11: Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre Switzerland (6) def. Lane Carico/Irene Hester Pollock United States (27) 26-24, 21-9 (0:52)
Match 12: Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (11) def. Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova Czech Republic (22) 20-22, 21-15, 15-12 (0:48)
Round 2
Match 27: Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova Czech Republic (22) def. Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre Switzerland (6) 22-20, 21-14 (0:37)
Match 28: Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (11) def. Lane Carico/Irene Hester Pollock United States (27) 21-13, 21-12 (0:
Round 3
Match 43: Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre Switzerland (6) def. Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (11) 13-21, 21-12, 17-15 (0:47)
Match 44: Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova Czech Republic (22) def. Lane Carico/Irene Hester Pollock United States (27) 21-15, 21-19 (0:32)
Pool G — Round 1
Match 13: Ekaterina Birlova/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (26, Q3) def. Taiana Lima/Elize Maia Brazil (7) 17-21, 21-17, 20-18 (0:54)
Match 14: Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch Germany (23) def. Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug Argentina (10) 21-13, 22-20 (0:37)
Round 2
Match 29: Taiana Lima/Elize Maia Brazil (7) def. Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch Germany (23) 26-24, 21-19 (0:45)
Match 30: Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug Argentina (10) def. Ekaterina Birlova/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (26, Q3) 17-21, 24-22, 15-7 (0:52)
Round 3
Match 45: Taiana Lima/Elize Maia Brazil (7) def. Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug Argentina (10) 21-14, 21-18 (0:38)
Match 46: Ekaterina Birlova/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (26, Q3) def. Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch Germany (23) 12-21, 21-18, 15-8 (0:43)
Pool H — Round 1Match 15: Katharina Schutzenhofer/Stefanie Schwaiger Austria (25) def. Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (8) 22-20, 28-26 (0:45)
Match 16: Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova Czech Republic (9) def. Anastasia Barsuk/Evgeniya Ukolova Russia (24) 21-16, 21-12 (0:32)
Round 2
Match 31: Anastasia Barsuk/Evgeniya Ukolova Russia (24) def. Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (8) 21-15, 17-21, 15-11 (0:43)
Match 32: Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova Czech Republic (9) def. Katharina Schutzenhofer/Stefanie Schwaiger Austria (25) 23-21, 21-17 (0:36)
Round 3
Match 47: Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova Czech Republic (9) def. Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (8) 21-19, 24-22 (0:52)
Match 48: Anastasia Barsuk/Evgeniya Ukolova Russia (24) def. Katharina Schutzenhofer/Stefanie Schwaiger Austria (25) 20-22, 21-17, 15-10 (0:43)

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