Former BYU men's volleyball opposite Casey Patterson has earned the right to play for Team USA at the 2017 Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, Austria, the Federation announced Wednesday.
Patterson, who played for the Cougars from 2002-05, is competing in one of eight maximum spots for Team USA. His teammate will be Theo Brunner. The duo is currently ranked No. 12 in the world.
Other participants include the top USA seed and No. 1 in World Rankings, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena. The top American women's seed is fifth-ranked Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross.
A total of 48 teams per gender will compete at the 11th edition of the FIVB Beach World Championships. The tournament will be played from July 28 to Aug. 6, on Danube Island in Vienna.
Nine American women's teams and six men's teams submitted applications to USA Volleyball for consideration into the World Championships. After the FIVB closed its registration in June, it was up to the event organizers and the FIVB to award the top 23 per the World Rankings, wild cards and final spots through continental confederations.
Walsh Jennings and Branagh earned their spot at the World Championships through one of four NORCECA nominations. The final field of players will be announced by the FIVB on Friday, June 9, with the wild card entries.
All eight U.S. teams will be making their first appearance as partnerships at the World Championships stage. Walsh Jennings previously won it in 2007, 2005 and 2003 (with Misty May-Treanor); April Ross won in 2009 (with Jennifer Kessy); Dalhausser, and then partner Todd Rogers, have the distinction of being the only U.S. men's team to win, which they did in 2007.
For updated results, visit the Team USA beach volleyball site.
Royce Hinton is the men's and women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.