Walsh and Ross officially qualify, Men are tested at the FIVB Cincnnati Open

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Jen Kessy

Wednesday’s action at AVP Cincinnati saw the American men tested, but they largely survived the challenges on a busy day in suburban Mason, Ohio, where the big news was that April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings are officially qualified for the Olympics.

Of the Olympic contenders, No. 1 seed Jake Gibb / Casey Patterson narrowly escaped against No. 32 seed Orlando Irizarry / Roberto Rodriguez-Bertran of Puerto Rico 21-11, 15-21, 15-13. No. 2 seed Phil Dalhausser / Nick Lucena United States went overtime against No. 31 seed Adrian Heidrich/Gabriel Kissling of Switzerland 21-16, 20-22, 16-14. No. 4 seed Tri Bourne / John Hyden enjoyed a straight set win against No. 29 seed Hendrik Mol / Lars Fredrik Tvinde of Norway 23-21, 21-14.

No. 10 Ryan Doherty / John Mayer defeated No. 23 Yoshiumi Hasegawa / Katsuhiro Shiratori of Japan 21-12, 32-30. Qualifiers and No. 19 seed Taylor Crabb / Trevor Crabb went the distance against No. 14 Cole Durant / Bo Soderberg of Australia, 21-15, 13-21, 15-13. No. 28 Robbie Page and Todd Rogers came up short against No. 5 Jonathan Erdmann / Kay Matysik of Germany 21-14, 14-21,13-15. No. 27 Jeremy Casebeer and Derek Olson dropped a match to No. 6 Lombardo Ontiveros /Juan Virgen of Mexico 22-24, 14-21.

All the men’s results are here:

Ross/Walsh Jennings were inked into Rio by competing in their 12th qualifying competition. Entering Thursday they are ranked in sixth place, with three qualifying events remaining. The top six is important, as there are six pools of four in the Olympic competition, so maintaining a top-six position ensures that nobody ranked above you will be in your pool.

Ross/Walsh Jennings celebrated by defeating both No. 32 Anna Behlen / Anika Krebs of Germany (21-13, 21-15) and No.16 Norisbeth Agudo / Olaya Pazo of Venezuela (21-11, 21-17). No. 3 Lauren Fendrick / Brooke Sweat split their matches, defeating No. 30 Rachel Cockrell / Camille Saxton of Canada (21-13, 21-16), and losing narrowly to No. 14 Fan Wang / Yuan Yue China (21-23, 19-21). No. 9 Emily Day / Jennifer Kessy of the U.S. also split, beating No. 24 Natalia Alfaro / Karen Charles of Costa Rica (21-7, 21-15), but lost a squeaker to No. 25 Rimke Braakman/Jolien Sinnema of the Netherlands 22-20, 20-22, 13-15.

No. 20 Lane Carico / Summer Ross of the U.S. came up big against No. 4 Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana Fernandez of Spain (21-11, 24-22), but could not overcome No. 13 Xinyi Xia / Chen Xue of China (21-19, 21-18). No. 21 Kim DiCello/Kendra VanZwieten lost a pair of matches to difficult foes No. 12 seed Barbora Hermannova / Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic (24-26, 17-21), and No. 5 Jamie Broder / Kristina Valjas of Canada (12-21, 21-19, 13-15). Finally, No. 27 Irene Hester Pollock/Caitlin Ledoux lost both matches to No. 6 Katrin Holtwick / Ilka Semmler of Germany (21-13, 21-16) and No. 11 Jantine van der Vlist / Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands (21-19, 12-21, 15-13).

Full women’s results are

Thursday’s American men’s teams matches of note include:

Crabb/Crabb at 9:00 am and 3:40 p.m.
Bourne/Hyden at 9:00 am and 3:40 p.m.
Gibb/Patterson at 9:50 am and 4:30 p.m.
Olson/Casebeer at 9:50 am and 4:30 p.m.
Dalhausser/Lucena at 10:40 am and 5:20 p.m.
Mayer/Doherty at 11:30 am and 6:10 p.m.
Rogers/Page at 11:30 am and 6:10 p.m.

American women’s teams matches on Thursday include:

DiCello/VanZwieten at 1:10 p.m.
Day/Kessy at 1:10 p.m.
Fendrick/Sweat at 12:20 p.m.
Hester/Ledoux at 12:20 p.m.
Jennings Walsh/A. Ross at 2:00 p.m.
Carico/S.Ross at 2:50 p.m.
Hochevar/Fopma at 2:50 p.m.

The women’s finals will be shown live on NBC on Saturday, May 21 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern, The men’s finals will be taped delayed for viewing on Sunday on NBCSN at 3 p.m. Eastern.

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