They survived the stress of a one-and-done qualifier to make pool play for the main draw -- and promptly pulled off an upset in the Asics World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach.
Americans Todd Rogers and Theodore Brunner defeated Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira in three sets Wednesday during men’s pool play.
No matter how you shake the rankings, they say Rogers and Brunner shouldn’t have won.
They’re ranked No. 44 by FIVB this season. Herrera and Gavira are third.
The U.S. pair were seeded No. 25 in the qualification bracket. Herrera and Gavira were eighth in the main draw. And Herrera has a silver medal from the Athens Olympics on his resume.
But one set of numbers says the Americans did win: 2-1. Rogers and Brunner won the first set, 21-17, and the third, 15-13.
The men have two rounds of pool play Thursday before the elimination matches.
On the women’s side, Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross set themselves up to advance out of pool play.
Jennings and Ross won both of their matches Wednesday.
In their second match, the pair found themselves in a 9-5 hole to start the first game but turned things around for a 21-17, 21-16 win.
“Sometimes we get frustrated when we’re not scoring points, and that’s what happened in that first part of Game 1,” Ross said. “And in my mind, I was like, ‘OK, we’re going to score points if we just hang in there and try and steady out our side out. We’re going to score points.’ That’s what happened, and I’m really happy with that.”
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