2015-09-30 13:00:00 CET
After an upset loss on Day One of the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals, the top-seeded Americans showed just what they’re made of on Wednesday Morning with a win against Spain despite injury to Casey Patterson.
On Day Two in Fort Lauderdale, Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera had the bad luck to face the USA’s Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson just 24 hours after the Americans’ stunning defeat by ninth-seeds from Italy. Knowing that two losses would all but end their chances to advance toward the Semi Finals of the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals, the Americans – who are beloved for being as funny as they are talented – were all business. They gave the U.S. fans a scare when they lost the first set 19-21 after Patterson twisted his ankle and took a medical time out; but the powerful duo were quickly back to form, dominating the second set 21-16. The third set was a knockdown-dragout fight, with the Americans finally prevailing despite Patterson’s taped ankle, 18-16.
“I’m so grateful to have Jake Gibb as a partner. These guys from Spain are two of the best sideout players in the world, and the only way you have a chance is to get them passing high off the net and off their rhythm, so we lived or died by the serve,“ said Gibb. “However, when I do a jump serve I don’t look down, and sometimes I hit a divot – which is what happened with my ankle here. It hurt right away, so I thought I’d better tape it up. After that, I definitely didn’t have the pop I usually have – but it didn’t hurt, so I was happy.“
In women’s highlights Wednesday morning, Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca lived up to the high expectations placed on them as members of Brazil's 2016 Olympic team by defeating Marleen Van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink of The Netherlands – 21-17, 15-21, 15-13 – despite the strong defense and superior height of the Dutch athletes.
The Center Court at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park will be rocking in the afternoon with no fewer than three bouts between beach volleyball’s biggest rivals: the USA and Brazil: Americans Lauren Fendrick and April Ross will face Brazilian World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas, while Emily Day and Jennifer Kessy will contend against Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca. U.S. legend Phil Dalhausser and his partner Nick Lucena will take on the Brazilians who are becoming legends in their own right, Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt.