Before stepping on the court for the first time, Casey Patterson thought volleyball was a girls sport. Although he initially refused to go, his mom eventually forced him to try out for his high school team. Now competing on the professional tour, alongside partner Jake Gibb, Patterson has climbed to the top of the sport.
So far this season, Patterson and Gibb have won the Shanghai Grand Slam and finished second at the Corrientes (Argentina) Grand Slam and the FIVB World Cup Final in Campinas, Brazil. They are now not only the No. 1 American team, but also top-ranked in the world.
The FIVB has modified the entry process for the FIVB World Tour and Open events starting from the Rome Grand Slam following feedback from athletes. The change sees the National Federation ranking use only the points of players who have played in any of the first three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour or Open events or registered in The Hague Grand Slam.
This new calculation process sees the likes of the Latvia men’s team move from ninth to fifth (from The Hague entry list to Rome) and Italy men from 14th to ninth while the women’s ranking sees Brazil move from 10th to fourth.
Both the U.S. men’s beach team of Casey Jennings and Stafford Slick along with the women’s beach team of Emily Day and Whitney Pavlik captured gold medals on Sunday at the fourth stop of the 2013 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Toluca, Mexico.
In the men’s gold-match, Slick (Andover, Minn.) and Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) battled through a three-set victory (21-17, 16-21, 17-15) defeating Mexico’s two-time defending champions Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen.
“It's my first NORCECA tournament title in Mexico,” Slick said in a NORCECA press release. “It is a good time for us; I really like the game. Mexico has a great team and it was a great game.”
Taylor Pischke of Winnipeg and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto won the bronze medal Sunday at the FIVB U23 World Championships in beach volleyball.
Pischke and Humana-Paredes defeated Eliska Galova and Adela Machova of the Czech Republic in the third place match 19-21, 21-15, 16-14.
In the tie-break set, Pischke and Humana-Paredes appeared to be on their way to winning comfortably, but the Czechs called a time-out when they were down 11-7 and mounted a comeback.