Stanford grad Kerri Walsh and her teammate, Misty May-Treanor, are gearing up for a run at their fourth gold medal of the current FIVB Beach Volleyball season at the Paf Open in Aland, Finland, which gets underway Thursday.
Walsh and May-Treanor will be joined by three other American teams, including Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Hanson, who won a qualifying tournament to gain entrance.
Fendrick and Hanson, seeded first in qualification, will receive a bye into the second round where they will face the winners of the match between Ester Ribera Boter and Breta Antequera Feixa of Spain and Nora Isomaki and Laura Lahtela of Finland on Tuesday.
Stanford grad Matt Fuerbringer and teammate Nick Lucena are in the main draw of the men's tournament.
A total of 165 teams, 95 men and 70 women, are competing in the 2011 Paf Open that will take place on the Isle of Aland at Mariehamn.
In related volleyball news, The U.S. Girls' Youth National Team used an 18-3 block advantage to down Thailand 33-31, 25-10, 25-22 in the second round Pool G at the 2011 FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship Turkey 2011 on Wednesday.