Olympics: After sweeping Qatar, Gibb, Patterson vow to not overlook Austria
Rio de Janeiro • The introduction might’ve been easy, but the second beach volleyball match of these Rio Olympics for Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson brings with it some history.
Gibb, the University of Utah graduate and Patterson, the former BYU indoor volleyball star, face Austria duo Robin Seidl and Alexander Huber Monday evening on the shore of Copacabana beach.
“We’ve played them a lot of times,” Patterson said Saturday after he and Gibb topped Qatar 2-0. “I think the majority of times it goes three [sets] and It’s a really exciting and entertaining match. I’m looking forward to playing them. They’re a great team.”
Seidl may be on the shorter end of the beach volleyball stars at these Olympics at 6-foot-3, but Patterson said he makes up for it. “Robin is probably the best blocker for his height in the world,” he added.
Huber, the Austrian left-side defender, is only 5-foot-10, is a “very good defender” who can rise for a spike, Patterson said. The Austrian team lost 2-1 in its opening match in Pool F Saturday night to Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira of Spain.
The Americans will undoubtedly have the height advance on the sand Monday — Bountiful native Gibb stands 6-foot-8 and Patterson at 6-foot-6. The 36-year-old former Cougar made it a point that the Utah beach volleyball tandem will not overlook a team it has struggled against in the past.
“Everyone out here that’s in the Olympics has the ability to win a medal — everyone here,” he said. “[We] just treat everyone the same.”
Following their sweep of Qatar, Gibb, the oldest beach volleyball athlete at these Olympics at 40, spoke glowingly of their Rio intro.
“Four years ago when I got done in London, I knew I wanted to come play in Brazil, because I knew it was going to be a special event,” he said. “Brazilians love beach volleyball, and I love it, and I want to share it with them.”
Gibb and Patterson face Spain in their final Pool F match on Wednesday morning.