Hawai’i pair pulls off first-round upset at Beach Volleyball Championship

Hawai’i players once again delivered in a critical match — this time it was just on the sand.

Hawai’i outside attackers Colton Cowell and Brett Rosenmeier representing the United States defeated Singapore’s Fan Yan Mark Shen and Zi Hao Kingsley Tay 21-14, 21-15 in the opening round of the World University Beach Volleyball Championship on Tuesday in Munich, Germany.

The U.S. win was the biggest upset of the opening round.

The Singapore pair entered this international event ranked No. 10 in the 32-team field. Cowell and Rosenmeier having spent the majority of the year playing indoor volleyball for the Rainbow Warriors were ranked outside of the top 25 for the tournament.

With this victory, the Hawai’i teammates advance to play the Australian pair of Paul Burnett and Maximilian Guehrer on Wednesday. Burnett and Guehrer are ranked No. 9 and are undefeated at the Beach Volleyball Championship.

Cowell and Rosenmeier pulled off their first-round upset victory after going 1-2 in pool-play to start the tournament.

This is the second major beach volleyball event for Cowell and Rosenmeier during this offseason. The pair advanced to the finals of the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships in May.

Both Cowell and Rosenmeier during the 2018 NCAA men’s volleyball season helped Hawai’i move into the top-five rankings of the national coaches poll and national media poll.

Rosenmeier started 18 matches for the Rainbow Warriors last season and was seventh in the Big West averaging 0.33 aces per game. He also was among the conference leaders with a 2.01 kills per game average, including have 10 kills on a .375 attack percentage in Hawai’i’s conference tournament semifinal victory against UC Irvine.

Cowell primarily came off the beech as a serving specialists and had eight aces last season.