July 28, 2013 - US Players dominated the Asics World Series Cup Sunday afternoon in Long Beach, CA. Jennifer Kessy and April Ross came back from behind to defeat the top ranked Brazilians Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima in 3rd set tiebreaker. US Men's duo Casey Patterson and Jake Gibb dominated and defeated their Latvian opponents in two sets.

With a new twist on an old sport, a special four-team international
competition called the ASICS World Series Cup saw the United States defeat
Brazil in the women’s final and United States beat Latvia in the men’s final
Sunday.  With the week-long ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball
featuring the week-long $440,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam that concluded
Saturday, the inaugural $100,000 ASICS World Series Cup featured two teams from
the USA in each gender playing in one semifinal along with one team each from
Brazil and Germany in the other women’s semi and in the other men’s semi one
each from Brazil and Latvia.

Winning the women’s ASICS World Series Cup was USA’s April Ross/Jennifer
Kessy while capturing the men’s ASICS World Series Cup was USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey

The winning teams in each gender will split a purse of $30,000, second place
will split $10,000 and the other teams in the first-time event will each split

The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returned to the USA for the first
time since 2003 with the event being held for the first time in Long Beach the
purpose-built site located on the expansive glistening sands of Marina Green
Park. With the 2013 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, presented by ASICS, in the
record books, the special USA vs. the world ASICS World Series Cup was
nationally televised by NBC TV and the Universal Sports Network.


In the women’s nationally-televised ASICS
World Series Cup final, USA’s April Ross/Jennifer Kessy came from behind to
overcome Brazil’s Taiana Lima/Talita Antunes, 15-21, 21-18 and 17-15 in the
60-minute final.  Brazil never trailed in taking the first set rather
easily. In the second set, the USA fell behind again, 5-1 but scored six
straight to take a 6-5 lead. The USA led 15-11 but Brazil rallied and tied the
set at 16-16 but the USA scored five of the last seven points.

In the deciding third set of the women’s final, USA came out of the box to
take leads of 4-1 and 7-4 but Brazil rallied again to take leads of 8-7, 11-9,
12-10 before the USA closed out the set and won the match with a 7-3 run. With
the score tied at 15-15, Ross landed a cross-court kill off of Lima and Kessy
ended it with a cross court kill just away from the diving Antunes, but just
inside the sideline as the partisan packed house in Long Beach rose to their
feet once again like they did so many times during the match.

In the women’s final, USA’s Kessy, who was selected as the MVP of the match,
recorded 30 kills, 13 digs and had three aces while teammate Ross had 12 kills,
seven digs, two blocks and just two hitting errors. For Brazil, Antunes had 11
kills, five blocks, two aces and no hitting errors and her partner Lima had 17
kills, 14 digs and two aces.

After winning the three-set match, USA’s Ross said, “We got off to a slow
start, and that’s what I thought would happen. But then we got a couple of
points and got better throughout the end of the first set. I felt way better
going into the second set. I just served a bunch of aces, probably the most aces
in a match this year. That helped us a lot to get going. I don’t know if it
should, but this takes some of the sting out of losing the FIVB tournament.
After a loss it feels so good to have this extra opportunity to go out on a

In the men’s cup final, USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson finally broke open
what appeared to be a very close match to defeat Latvia’s Aleksandrs
Samoilovs/Janis Smedins in two sets, 22-20, 21-11 in 40 minutes. The match
reversed the outcome of FIVB World Tour gold medal match on May 26 in
Corrientes, Arg., won by the Latvians in two sets.

In the close first set, USA never trailed, there were four ties and Gibb
finished it with another crowd-inspiring block. Latvia scored first in the
second set and after going point for point USA took its first lead at 5-4 and
then went on a 10-2 run. During the run, Gibb had three straight blocks for
points at 13, 14, and 15 after having another block for point 11.

In the men’s final, USA’s Gibb, who was selected as the MVP of the match,
recorded nine kills, a game-high seven blocks and one serving ace while teammate
Patterson had 16 kills, seven digs, one block and one ace. For Latvia, Samoilovs
had 10 kills and six digs while Smedins had eight kills, three digs and four

USA’s Gibb had high praise for his new teammate Patterson, saying after the
victory, “Casey has been playing insane. He’s new to the FIVB World Tour and he
is playing amazing. You also have to know that those guys (Latvia’s
Samoilovs/Smedins) are some of the best players in the world. So I don't think
they ever really lose confidence. We had a good game plan that our coach put
together and it worked.”

USA’s Patterson had equally as strong comments regarding Gibb, saying, “Jake
was playing the net so well today that there were times when I just wanted to
serve, sit down in a chair and watch him just block another one.”

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