Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

Bay area duo pulls upset at beach volleyball tourney

ST. PETERSBURG — Most aspiring beach volleyball professionals move to California once they're serious about making a career out of the sport.

Raquel Ferreira took the opposite approach.

Ferreira, originally from Brazil, lived in California for eight years before packing up for Florida. She slept on the couch of playing partner Kristen Batt in Sarasota for a couple of months before moving St. Petersburg a little more than a year ago.

Ferreira, 31, who is the founder and director of Bevolley Academy in St. Petersburg, and Batt 32, hope to spur growth of the sport locally.

"Everyone goes to California because the coaches are there and most of the players train there," Ferreira said. "We brought our structure here, coach and everyone. You used to see a lot of differences, especially in the junior events, between California players and the Florida players. Now it's starting to even out. It's starting to shift."

The duo's play Friday at the St. Petersburg Open should help.

Ferreira and Batt opened with a 21-14, 21-12 victory over Morgan Miller and Brooke Niles then produced the upset of the tournament, beating 2012 Olympic silver medalists and top-seeded Jennifer Kessy and April Ross 21-18, 15-21, 19-17 to reach the quarterfinals.

In the third game, neither team led by more than two. Ahead 14-13, Kessy and Ross had a chance to win on Kessy's serve, but Batt hit the back line with a spike. Batt and Ferreira had four match points but couldn't convert until, at 18-17, Kessy's off-balance spike fell into the net.

"The pressure was on them because they carry a heavy, silver medal on their chest. We don't," Ferreira said. "So for us, it's a bonus. Every point, we were going after it; no regrets."

The No. 2 seed, three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and Whitney Pavlik, also fell in the second round, to Emily Day and Summer Ross 21-17, 21-10.

Day and Ross, finalists at the past two AVP Tour events, have swept Walsh Jennings and Pavlik all five times they've met.

"Every time we play them, we play a little better," Ross said. "It was awesome."

Third-seeded Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat also lost in the second round.

Most of the top men's teams moved on. No. 1 seed Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal took care of Dave McKienzie and Nils Nielsen 21-12, 21-19 in the first round and Adrian Carambula and Stafford Slick 21-14, 21-18 in the second.

"It hasn't been smooth," Dalhausser said. "But we're getting the job done."

Second-seeded Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson and third-seeded Theodore Brunner and Nick Lucena swept their two matches.

Fourth-seeded Todd Rogers and Ryan Doherty, however, fell. Rogers, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist, and Doherty lost 17-21, 21-15, 15-10 to Jeremy Casebeer and Andy McGuire, seeded 13th, in the first round.

Comments
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 23

Monday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 10, Citrus Park Christian 0Northeast 12, Countryside 5
Updated: 3 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.MLB; 1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Dodgers10 p.m.FSFCollege baseballCoastal Carolina at North Carolina6 p.m.ESPNUMississippi at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECCreighton at Nebraska7:30 p.m.Big ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The key to the Lightning’s success

The key to the Lightning’s success

This is quite the run the Lightning is on over the past five years.A playoff appearance in 2014. A trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2015. A return to the Eastern Conference final in 2016. A near-miss of the postseason last season. And now back in the...
Updated: 6 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brooke Blankenship and Luca Tresh

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brooke Blankenship and Luca Tresh

Brooke Blankenship, Academy at the LakesAcademy at the Lakes knew it would be difficult to manufacture runs during last week's anticipated matchup with Land O'Lakes and Gators ace Callie Turner.So the Wildcats decided to steal a run.This wasn't any h...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin's ability to play football without a left hand has made him the talk of the NFL draft. But the former Lakewood High and UCF star is determined to silence such talk with his play."It gets tiring," Griffin said today...
Updated: 10 hours ago
HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. Sunlake (22-1)Up next: Wednesday vs. Clearwater-Northeast winner (7A-10 semifinals)The buzz: The Seahawks beat Anclote, Gulf and Zephyrhills last week to extend their win streak to 16, currently the longest in the area. Sunlake has been dominant, ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Late-round NFL draft picks are often made on a wing and a prayer.The Bucs' fourth-round pick Saturday will be no different. The team announced Monday that as part of the NFL draft TV broadcast, the team's fourth-round pick will be delivered to an ann...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

For all the analyses and hypotheses, all the Mels and McShays, all the pro days and private workouts, the NFL draft remains a crap shoot at its core.But just for kicks, we're rolling the dice anyway.As a prelude to what could — could — be...
Published: 04/23/18