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Beach Volleyball - 17. July 2007.

Beach Tandems Arrive in Rio Ready for Pan American Games


Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (July 15, 2007) – United States beach players Angie Akers (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Brooke Niles Hanson (Ventura, Calif.), Ty Loomis (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Hans Stolfus (Costa Mesa, Calif.) all have at least one thing in common as they begin the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, July 16.


One of the most famous beaches in the world and Rio’s best known postcards, Copacabana will host the Pan American Games’ beach volleyball. The matches will be played at the Copacabana Arena, which seats nearly 3,800 fans. Beach volleyball has been part of the Pan American Games the past two events.

All four U.S. beach athletes have high expectations of playing deep into the tournament, and breaking a streak without a beach medal since 1999 when Jennifer Palvey and Marsha Miller won a silver.

Niles Hanson and Akers’ trek to the medal stand begins against Brazil at 9 a.m. ET on July 16, while Loomis and Stolfus start on July 17. The women’s beach volleyball championship will be held on July 21 at 7 p.m. ET, while the men’s championship will be staged on July 22 at noon ET.

Despite the challenging draw and opening up against Brazil in the first beach match of the entire tournament, Akers feels it could be an advantage to her and Niles Hanson.

“I think it is awesome to open against Brazil,” Akers said after the draw for seeds and pools. “We will know right away where we stand as we open against the best team in front of a great home crowd. I am very excited, and Brooke and I will come out and play our best.”

The women’s tandem is seeded 9th in the 16-team field, and grouped into pool E with Brazil, El Salvador and Puerto Rico. The men’s duo, seeded 14th, is in Pool C with Venezuela,
Ecuador and Puerto Rico.

Akers-Niles Hanson later challenge El Salvador on July 17 at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Puerto Rico at 2 p.m. ET. To date, the men’s schedule bracket has not been made public.

ESPN Deportes will televise both women’s and men’s beach finals, along with early round segments on July 16 at 5 p.m. ET, on July 17 at 1 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., on July 18 at 7:30 p.m., on July 19 at noon ET and on July 20 at 1:30 p.m.

The mens and women’s beach volleyball competition consists of 16 teams each competing in round robin pool play for four teams, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Pools A (Men) and E (Women) consist of seeds one, eight, nine and 16. Pools B (Men) and F (Women) consist of seeds two, seven, 10 and 15. Pools C (Men) and G (Women) consist of seeds three, six, 11 and 14. Pools D (Men) and F (Women) consist of seeds four, five, 12 and 13.

The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played with single elimination with quarterfinals matches of Pool A/E winner versus Pool D/H second-place finisher, Pool D/H winner versus Pool A/E second-place finisher, Pool B/F winner versus Pool C/G second-place finisher and Pool C/G winner versus Pool B/F second-place finisher.

The playing partnerships of Akers-Niles Hanson and Loomis-Stolfus are in the infancy stages in the beach world, and all signs point to success down the road.

Akers and Niles Hanson have competed together 13 previous times on the sand with two fifth-place finishes on the AVP Tour in 2007. The tandem has seven top 10 finishes on the AVP Tour this year with just under $16,000 in season earnings. Niles Hanson and Akers currently rank ninth on the AVP Tour.

“Our goal is to come home with a medal,” Akers said.

Overall in 2006, Hanson was third on the AVP Tour in digs (5.79 per game) and ninth in aces (.67 per game), her third straight year as a top 32 player. She has finished as high as fifth on four occasions with 21 top-10 finishes. A native of Woodland Hills, Calif., Hanson was a four-year letter winner at UC Santa Barbara.

Akers has been on the AVP Tour since 2002 when she was named AVP Rookie of the Year. In 2006, she ranked seventh in both kill percentage (.566) and hitting percentage (.438). In the past, she has paired up with Rachel Wacholder, Jenny Pavley and Nicole Branagh. She has finished third on one occasion and has 11 fifth-place finishes highlighting 40 top-10 appearances. Akers attended the University of Notre Dame.

Aside from all four players residing in California, they claim different hometowns in four states. Niles Hanson is the only player listing her hometown within the beach volleyball hotbed state of California, that being in Woodland Hills. Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Stolfus (Solon, Iowa) hail from the Midwest. Loomis lists Warner Robins, Ga., as his hometown. All but Akers migrated to a California school at some point in their college careers.

Beach volleyball is one of 37 sports at the XV Pan American Games for which the U.S. Team consists of 595 athletes (273 women, 322 men). The XV Pan American Games, held July 13-29, will feature approximately 5,500 athletes from 42 nations competing in 332 events.

Since 1951, the Pan American Games are held every four years in the year preceding the summer Olympics and volleyball has been part of the event since 1955. The Pan American Games are a continental version of the Olympic Games, which includes both Olympic sports and other disciplines suggested by the competition organization and approved by PASO.

Over more than 50 years, the Pan American Games have been held continuously and were taken to numerous cities in all areas of the American continent from as far north as Winnipeg (Canada), host of two Pan American Games (1967 and 1999), to the extreme South in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, which hosted the Games in 1995. The competition also took place in Mexico City (Mexico), Chicago (United States), Cáli (Colombia), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Caracas (Venezuela), Indianapolis (United States), Havana (Cuba), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and São Paulo (Brazil).

For the U.S. Beach Team press kit for the Pan American Games, click here.

Women’s Beach Schedule (at Arena de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
July 16 (10 a.m.): Prelim Pool E (Match 1)
July 16 (11 a.m.): Prelim Pool E (Match 2)
July 16 (Noon): Prelim Pool F (Match 3)
July 16 (1 p.m.): Prelim Pool F (Match 4)
July 16 (6 p.m.): Prelim Pool G (Match 5)
July 16 (7 p.m.): Prelim Pool G (Match 6)
July 16 (8 p.m.): Prelim Pool H (Match 7)
July 16 (9 p.m.): Prelim Pool H (Match 8)
July 17 (10 a.m.): Prelim Pool F (Match 11)
July 17 (10 a.m.): Prelim Pool F (Match 12)
July 17 (Noon): Prelim Pool G (Match 15)
July 17 (Noon): Prelim Pool G (Match 16)
July 17 (2 p.m.): Prelim Pool H (Match 19)
July 17 (2 p.m.): Prelim Pool H (Match 20)
July 17 (8 p.m.): Prelim Pool E (Match 23)
July 17 (10 p.m.): Prelim Pool E (Match 24)
July 18 (10 a.m.): Prelim Pool G (Match 27)
July 18 (10 a.m.): Prelim Pool G (Match 28)
July 18 (Noon): Prelim Pool H (Match 31)
July 18 (Noon): Prelim Pool H (Match 32)
July 18 (3 p.m.): Prelim Match Pool E (Match 35)
July 18 (3 p.m.): Prelim Match Pool E (Match 36)
July 18 (7 p.m.): Prelim Match Pool F (Match 37)
July 18 (9 p.m.): Prelim Match Pool F (Match 39)
July 19 (1 p.m.): Quarterfinal Match (Match 47)
July 19 (2 p.m.): Quarterfinal Match (Match 48)
July 19 (8 p.m.): Quarterfinal Match (Match 51)
July 19 (10 p.m.): Quarterfinal Match (Match 52)
July 20 (4 p.m.): Semifinal Match (Match 57)
July 20 (5 p.m.): Semifinal Match (Match 58)
July 21 (8 p.m.): Bronze Medal Match (Match 61)
July 21 (10 p.m.): Gold Medal Match (Match 62)

Men’s Beach Schedule (at Arena de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
July 17 (9 a.m.): Prelim Pool B (Match 9)
July 17 (9 a.m.): Prelim Pool B (Match 10)
July 17 (11 a.m.): Prelim Pool C (Match 13)
July 17 (11 a.m.): Prelim Pool C (Match 14)
July 17 (1 p.m.): Prelim Pool D (Match 17)
July 17 (1 p.m.): Prelim Pool D (Match 18)
July 17 (6 p.m.): Prelim Pool A (Match 21)
July 17 (9 p.m.): Prelim Pool A (Match 22)
July 18 (9 a.m.): Prelim Pool C (Match 25)
July 18 (9 a.m.): Prelim Pool C (Match 26)
July 18 (11 a.m.): Prelim Pool D (Match 29)
July 18 (11 a.m.): Prelim Pool D (Match 30)
July 18 (1 p.m.): Prelim Pool A (Match 33)
July 18 (1 p.m.): Prelim Pool A (Match 34)
July 18 (8 p.m.): Prelim Pool B (Match 38)
July 18 (10 p.m.): Prelim Pool B (Match 40)
July 19 (9 a.m.): Prelim Pool C (Match 41)
July 19 (10 a.m.): Prelim Pool C (Match 42)
July 19 (11 a.m.): Prelim Pool B (Match 45)
July 19 (11 a.m.): Prelim Pool D (Match 43)
July 19 (Noon): Prelim Pool B (Match 46)
July 19 (Noon): Prelim Pool D (Match 44)
July 19 (6 p.m.): Prelim Pool A (Match 49)
July 19 (7 p.m.): Prelim Pool A (Match 50)
July 20 (10 a.m.): Quarterfinal Match (Match 53)
July 20 (11 a.m.): Quarterfinal Match (Match 54)
July 20 (Noon): Quarterfinal Match (Match 55)
July 20 (2 p.m.): Quarterfinal Match (Match 56)
July 21 (3 p.m.): Semifinal Match (Match 59)
July 21 (4 p.m.): Semifinal Match (Match 60)
July 22 (1 p.m.): Bronze Medal Match (Match 63)
July 22 (3 p.m.): Gold Medal Match (Match 64

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