Lausanne, Switzerland, July 24, 2017 - As a new team on the 2017 FIVB World Tour, Theo Brunner and Casey Patterson have had a roller coaster of a season.
After starting the season with two ninths and a fourth at stops in the United States, Brazil and Russia, Brunner and Patterson finished 25th in the Netherlands with a fifth two weeks later in Croatia followed by another 25th in Switzerland and two defeats last weekend at the World Tour event in Olsztyn.
“For a while we thought we were close to the peak (Rio and Moscow), but then we fell to the valley (The Hague),” said the 32-year old Brunner, who placed fourth at the 2015 FIVB World Championships with Nick Lucena where Patterson placed fifth with his Rio 2016 Olympic partner Jake Gibb.
“It has been an up-and-down season,” added Brunner, speaking at the Long Beach President's Cup earlier in July. Brunner has been on the FIVB World Tour since 2013 with Patterson being his seventh different partner. “Our goal is to peak for the World Championships and we are training hard and are very confident.”
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Brunner and Patterson had a string of four consecutive wins at the Porec Major where the Americans posted wins over three teams that will be competing in the World Championships starting July 28 in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Seeded 17th in the 2017 FIVB World Championships, Brunner and Patterson open Pool H play on July 29 against 32nd-seeded Robin Seidl/Tobias Winter of Austria followed by a July 31 contest against 41st-seeded African continental qualifiers Jamaine Naidoo/Leo Williams of South Africa. The Americans conclude group action on August 2 against eighth-seeded Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes/Pedro Solberg of Brazil.