In their first tournament back together since Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder for the second time this season five week ago, Walsh Jennings and April Ross are putting on an impressive show. They went 3-0 in their World Series of Beach Volleyball pool, defeating Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy, Victoria Bieneck and Julia Groner of Germany, and Carolina Solberg Salgado and Maria Clara Salgado Rufino of Brazil all in straight sets. Walsh Jennings is serving underhand, often swinging left-handed, and shooting pokeys with her right.
The duo earned a bye into the second round of the elimination rounds, and they will play the winner of an all-Switzerland battle between Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verg-Dpr and Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich.
Jen Kessy and Emily Day also advanced into elimination play after earning a 2-1 record. Their only loss came at the hands of top Brazilian duo Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas De Freitas. They will face Germans Bieneck and Groner in the first round.
Jen Fopma and Brittany Hochevar, who havent played together since 2011, finished with a 2-1 record and will face fellow Americans Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat in the first round of elimination play. Sweat and Fendrick, who are currently the highest-ranked U.S. team on the world tour, went 1-2 in pool, losing two three-set battles with Sweat serving underhand due to a shoulder injury she sustained early in the tournament.
Summer Ross and Lane Carico opened the tournament with a big win over top European duo Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany, but they failed to keep the momentum going and subsequently lost to Liliana Fernndez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan of Spain and then Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu of Vanuatu. Their 1-2 record was not enough to advance them into the elimination rounds.
Kim DiCello and Kendra Van Zwieten went 0-3 in pool, as did Jenny Kropp and Nicole Branagh.
One American team on the men’s side, Tri Bourne and John Hyden, also earned a bye into the second round after going 3-0 in pool play, including a big win over top Brazilian team Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt.
Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser advanced with a 2-1 pool play record. Their only loss came at the hands of Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria in a close three-setter (21-19, 14-21, 15-13). They will face Kadziola and Szalankiewicz of Poland in the first round.
Sean Rosenthal and Theo Brunner, a new team formed after both men’s former partners (Lucena and Dalhausser) teamed up few weeks ago, went 1-2 in a tough pool that included Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo and Dutch duo Reinder Nummerdor and Christaan Varenhorst. They advanced and will play Markus Bckermann and Lars Flggen of Germany to kick off their elimination play.
Ryan Doherty and John Mayer finished their pool with a 1-2 record, defeating Australians Isaac Kapa and Christopher McHugh to advance and face Germans Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik in round one.
Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson, currently the top-ranked American men’s team on the world tour, exited the tournament after a 1-2 performance in pool play that was not enough to advance. The 25th-place finish is the lowest international finish for the team in the history of their partnership.
First round action begins at 9 a.m. PT in Long Beach.