London 2012

Press release

USA’s Kessy/Ross vs. Netherlands’ Keizer/van Iersel Tuesday

USA's Jennifer Kessy, who will turn 35 on Tuesday, is one of six beach volleyball Olympians celebrating their birthdays during the London 2012 Olympic Games will be playing Tuesday night with April Ross at Horse Guards Parade

London, Great Britain, July 30, 2012 – Moving ever-closer to the close of round robin pool play, Tuesday’s women’s schedule is highlighted by USA’s Jennifer Kessy/April Ross and Netherland’s Sanne Keizer/Marleen van Iersel at 11 p.m. under the lights of the London 2012 Olympic Games, 24 women’s beach volleyball teams from 17 countries will finish round 2 of 3 pool play matches. Beach volleyball is being held in the purpose-built, sold-out 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade as the majestic venue also includes a portion of adjacent St. James Park in historic central London.

Round robin pool play continues with three sessions on Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. and continuing to the final match of the day starting at 11 p.m. with these 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams playing their second of three pool play matches of these Olympic Games on Wednesday.

USA’s Kessy, who will be celebrating her 35th birthday on Tuesday, and Ross, who as a team were the 2009 FIVB SWATCH World Champions, are leading their pool after one win and Netherlands’ Keizer/van Iersel were upset in their first match on Sunday so they are 0-1.  It that isn’t motivation enough, USA’s Kessy/Ross still hold the edge in the international series between the two teams, but Netherlands’ Keizer/van Iersel have won five of the last six meetings including two matches this year.

“We had some unusual emotions happening on the court Sunday and I think on Tuesday we will have a different focus that I know we will need as the Dutch team has been formidable for several matches,” said Ross. “With it being Jennifer’s birthday on match day tomorrow, I will do my part to help it be a memorable one. We want it to be an unbelievable experience for her. I would like my play be a present for both of us.”

While the USA/Netherlands matchup will close the night and the evening session, Tuesday’s women’s schedule will start in the morning session with an 11 a.m. match between Spain’s 16th-seeded Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez playing Argentina’s Ana Gallay/Maria Zonta followed at noon by Brazil’s fifth-seeded Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes battling Germany’s eighth-seeded Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig. 

Spain and Argentina have not met before, but Brazil’s Antonelli/Antunes and Goller/Ludwig are tied 3-3 in their series history, with Brazil winning their last meeting in Aland, Finland last August.

In the midday session Tuesday, the first women’s matchup at 4:30 p.m. will see Australia’s 17th-seeded Louise Bawden/Becchara Palmer play against Netherlands’ 20th-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel with both teams hoping to get on a winning track after suffering first round losses on Sunday. Tuesday will be the first meeting between the two teams.

Returning to the site of their thrilling three-set win over Canada on Sunday, Great Britain’s sixth-seeded Zara Dampney/Shauna Mullin will be welcomed as inspirational heroes as they place their feet on the sand at Horse Guards Parade to take on Italy’s seventh-seeded Greta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti at 5:30 p.m. as the Italians won their first pool play match Sunday. Italy has a 4-0 lead in the international series between the two teams but they haven’t met since last August.

In the first match of the evening session at 8 p.m. appearing on center court will be Russia’s 18th-seeded Ekaterina Khomyakova/Evgeniya Ukolova to do battle in the stadium at Horse Guards Parade with Canada’s 19th-seeded Marie-Andree Lessard/Annie Martin. Both teams are looking for their first Olympic win after suffering losses on Sunday and the Russians won the only meeting between the two teams in Beijing this past June.

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