June 19, 2006
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. No. 1 men's team of John Mayer and Matt Prosser overcame 90-degree temperatures and a tough German team to win the bronze medal at the Third Beach Volleyball World University Championships on Sunday in Cyprus.
Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Pepperdine) and Prosser (Ventura, Calif./Long Beach State) defeated the No. 2 German team of Raimund Wenning and Stefan Schmeckenbecher, 21-16, 22-20, for the third-place finish.
"After doing a little scouting, John and I had a solid game plan going into the match, but so did the Germans," Prosser wrote in an e-mail. "Let's just say that two people got served the entire match: the smaller German player and me. It seems that the German game plan is to serve the player that does all the blocking during the match, and in two matches today against both German teams, I saw 99.9 percent of the serves."
Earlier in the day, Mayer/Prosser had lost to the German No. 1 team of Sebastian Dollinger and Florian Huth in the double-elimination tournament to fall to the third-place game. Until then, Mayer/Prosser had not lost a set.
The U.S. women's No. 1 team of Leanne Haarbauer (Troy, Ohio/National University) and Krystal McFarland Jackson (Ventura, Calif./UCLA) finished fifth overall. The U.S. No. 2 men's team of Sean Allstot (Grass Valley, Calif./Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) and Braidy Halverson (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Cal Poly SLO) finished seventh and the U.S. No. 2 women's team of Jen Lombardi (Manhattan Beach, Calif./UCLA and SMCC) and Rosa Masler (Kahului, Hawaii/Mesa State) placed 13th.
Saturday morning, Mayer/Prosser had to face Allstot/Halverson. Mayer/Prosser won 21-15, 23-21. Allstot/Halverson went on to defeat Austria's Mang Thomas and Daniel Hupfer to reach a quarterfinal match against Dollinger/Huth. The German No. 1 team defeated Allstot/Halverson in three games.
In the women's bracket, Haarbauer/Jackson came back from a tough first day in which they lost three matches in pool play to defeat Great Britain's No. 1 team (Zara Dampney and Gabriela Tomasekova), Cyprus' team (Joanna Letcheva and Despina Constantinou) and Austria's Kirsten Pichler and Magdalena Jirak. However, they lost their next two matches to Germany 2 (Ruth Anne Kardine Flemig and Friederike Romberg) and France 2 (Deborah Giaoui and Mathilde Giordano).
"This experience of playing with international players has given me more of a passion for the sport of beach volleyball," McFarland Jackson said in an e-mail. "I am looking forward to playing in more international events in the future."
Lombardi/Masler also lost their three pool-play matches before entering the playoffs where they lost to Brazil (Elen Souza and Nathaly Nascimento). They bounced back and defeated both Polish teams. However, a loss to Italy (Giulia Momoli and Silvia Fanella) finished their tournament.
Germany will host next year's Fourth Beach Volleyball World University Championships.
The web site for the 2006 Beach Volleyball World University Championships is http://www.ucy.ac.cy/wubeachvolley06/pages/home.php
(For more info and logs visit www.usavolleyball.org. Story courtsey of USA Volleyball.)