FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Cincinnati Open | 17 - 21 May 2016


Press release

Walsh Jennings/Ross win twice in women’s main draw at Cincinnati Open

USA's April Ross, right, battles Venezuela's Olaya Pazo during Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings pool play victory as they ended Wednesday 2-0 in the Olympic quest at the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP being played through Saturday in Mason, Ohio.

Mason, Ohio, USA, May 18, 2016 — Focused on securing a spot among the 15 qualified players from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, USA’s top-seeded Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross marched through opponents from the Netherlands and Germany Tuesday as 32 women’s teams completed the first two of three pool play matches at the double-gender FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP.

Quick links:
Cincinnati Open
Main draw results - Men
Main draw results - Women

The event, which is one of the last three Olympic qualifiers through the FIVB World Tour is being held through Saturday at the prominent Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio and the seventh tournament in the stretch of eight straight events on the FIVB World Tour, the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, is being played in the famed Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. Next week the FIVB World Tour returns to Russia for the double-gender FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.

Playing in their 25th FIVB World Tour event as a team, USA’s Walsh Jennings/A. Ross opened play Tuesday morning on the Lindner center court by defeating Venezuel’as16th-seeded Olaya Pazo/Norisbeth Agudo in straight sets, 21-12, 21-19 in 32 minutes. In their early afternoon match, USA’s Walsh Jennings/A. Ross defeated Germany’s 32nd-seeded Anika Krebs/Anna Behlen, 21-13, 21-15 in a masterful 28 minutes.

USA’s three-time Olympic gold medalist Walsh Jennings (with Misty May-Treanor) and A. Ross, a silver medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games (with Jennifer Kessy), have 13 final four finishes on the FIVB World Tour including eight gold medals since becoming a team.

On Thursday, the American Olympic hopefuls will finish pool play against Germany’s 17th-seeded Isabel Schneider/Teresa Mersmann.

The double-gender $150,000 FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, started Tuesday and concludes on Saturday. It is the 14th men’s event of the season and 11th women’s stop on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started with three events at the end of 2015.

Following her team’s  second two-set win of the day, Ross remarked, “It's really nice to be in the U.S. and to qualify for the Olympics, to go and represent the USA. It's really meaningful and I am glad it worked out this way. We didn't plan it but it was meant to be. Any time we get to play in the U.S. it feels like home. It's comfortable. We always have fun playing but sometimes going to distant locations has its challenges. To have everyone here rooting for us makes it more fun.”

“The main goal is to really take what we're working on in training, to fine tune little things. We're experimenting a little bit. But we're really trying to tighten up everything we do and we need to do that in competition. We need to continue to work at finding our rhythm so it's as consistent as possible and we know how to find our rhythm. Gaining millimeters, centimeters and inches whatever we can leading up to Rio. Marcio (Sicoli, their coach) has this plan, three blocks and we've had two blocks so far. Once we qualified, block three started. We don't know what that consists of but he's got a plan. The first block was preseason, the second block was qualifying through the tournaments and block three will be after qualification, preparing for and through the Olympics.”

While the AVP has held domestic tour events in the area every year since 2005, the FIVB is visiting the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area for the first time, The FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP is a double-gender event with 32 main draw teams per gender. On Thursday, each gender will be complete pool play that started Wednesday with split into eight, four-team pools playing three matches over the two days. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds.

On Friday, both genders will play three rounds of eliminations ending under the lights with the quarterfinals on two courts during the evening.

On Saturday, the final eight matches will be played all on the center court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Starting at 10 a.m. the women’s semifinals and medal matches followed by the two men’s semifinals at 4:30 p.m. After the men’s semis will be the women’s awarding ceremony followed by the men’s medal matches with the men’s awarding ceremony at approximately 10:30 p.m. closing the tournament.

A total of 10 teams won both of their matches on Wednesday. Besides USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross, the other undefeated 2-0 pool play teams on Wednesday were Canada’s second-seeded Sarah Pavan, Canada’s fifth-seeded Jamie Lynn Broder/Kristina Valjas, Germany’s sixth-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, Vanuatu’s seventh-seeded Miller Pata/Linline Matauatu, Czech Republic’s 12th-seeded Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova, China’s 13th-seeded Chen Xue/Xinyi Xia, Germany’s 17th-seeded Isabel Schneider/Teresa Mersmann, Switzerland’s 19th-seeded Tanja Huberli/Nina Betschart and Netherlands’ 25th-seeded Rime Braakman/Jolien Sinnema.

USA has seven teams in the women’s main draw. After the first two days of pool play, besides USA’s 2-0 Walsh Jennings/A. Ross the other members of Team USA and their first-day records are USA’s third-seeded Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat (1-1), USA’s eighth-seeded Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day (1-1), 17th-seeded Brittany Hochevar/Jennifer Fopma (0-2), 20th-seeded Summer Ross/Lane Carico (1-1), 21st-seeded, Kim Dicello/Kendra Vanzwieten (0-2) and 27th-seeded Irene Hester/Caitlin Ledoux (1-1).

In all, 12 cities in the USA have hosted an FIVB event—Atlanta, Carson, Calif., Chicago, Cincinnati Clearwater, Fla., Fort Lauderdale, Hermosa Beach, Calif., Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and St. Petersburg, Fla. Through the 2015 events (three last year), the United States has now hosted a total of 30 FIVB World Tour events (15 men, 15 women).

The gold medal teams at the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 400 points and fourth place $4,500 and 450 points.

Additional information on the event is available online both at and While general admission to the tournament is free, tickets are available online for the VIP prime seating areas at

With placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continuing, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues with events over eight straight weeks through the end of May.

The FIVB World Tour was in Europe for two events over the last two weeks. Up first was in Russia two weeks followed by last week’s FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (May 10-15). The tour is visiting the United States for the first time in 2016 this week for the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP (May 17-21) in Mason, Ohio. Next week, the FIVB World Tour returns to Russia for the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam (May 24-29). After a one week respite, the final Olympic qualifying event on the FIVB World Tour will be the FIVB Hamburg Major Series in Germany (June 7-12).

The FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, is the 343rd men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 304th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

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