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Locals Make Semifinals in ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball

Aug 22, 2015 08:10AM ● By DigMB Staff

April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings speak with media during the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach. The duo is the defending champions.

Two of beach volleyball's best have made it into the semifinals of the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach. More than 128 of the world’s top beach volleyball players have been competing in the final U.S.-based qualifier for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The elite sports competition features a multi-day music festival headlined by Adam Lambert and American Authors, and an open competition for the public. General admission is free.

MB's Kerri Walsh Jennings, playing in her first tournament since a shoulder injury sidelined her, and partner April Ross take to the sand for a 10:05 a.m. start time today (Saturday, August 22) against Canada's Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan as they defend their title. The duo is seeded 8th, due to Walsh Jennings' injury; Bansley/Pavan are seeded 4th.

Walsh Jennings and Ross have won three of four matches against the Canadians on the FIVB World Tour. Bansley and Pavan’s only win was due to a forfeit last month at the Gstaad Major in Switzerland when Walsh Jennings withdrew from the match due to her second right should dislocation of the season.

On the men's side, MB resident Phil Dalhausser, who won the AVP Manhattan Beach Open last Sunday with partner Nick Lucena, play the Spanish duo of Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera. The Spaniards are 10th-seeded; Dalhausser/Lucena are 24th, mostly due to Dalhausser missing in action for two months due to injury. Their contest hits the sand at 3:15 p.m.

Dalhausser and Lucena are competing in their first FIVB World Tour event together since 2005. Dalhausser will be seeking his third ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball title. He previously won in 2013 and 2014 in Long Beach with Sean Rosenthal, who placed 17th Friday with Theo Brunner.

Sunday's competition will feature the four medal matches.  The winning teams in both genders will split the $57,000 first-place prizes. The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball is the second of two events in the United States this season that are part of the qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The first 2015 American Olympic qualifier was held in mid-June at St. Petersburg, FL.  Prior to the St. Petersburg Grand Slam, the last Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifying event in the US was staged in September 2003 in Carson.

Following the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, the final Grand Slam event on the 2015 Federation Internationale de Volleyball World Tour will be played August 25-30 in Olsztyn, Poland. The “test” event for the Rio 2016 Olympics will be staged on Sept. 2-6 at exactly the same location for the Summer Games’ Beach Volleyball competition--Copacabana Beach. FIVB is the governing body responsible for all forms of volleyball on a global level.

Prior to returning to the US for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale, FL (Sept. 29-Oct. 4), the international circuit will stage “open” tournaments in Russia (Sochi, Sept. 8-13) and China (Xiamen, Sept. 22-27).

The World Series of Beach Volleyball is being held on Alamitos Beach, 386 E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach. Parking, shuttle, and bike valet information are available here.

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