2017-07-18T15:29:49Z 2017-07-18T15:29:49Z

AVP Austin Open Eliminations: Top Men’s and Women’s Teams Secure Semi-Finals Spots After Fighting through Contenders’ Brackets

AVP Beach Volleyball
The second stop of the 2017 AVP Pro Tour: Austin Open attracted dedicated crowds who briefly braved rain and a lightning delay to watch the toughest competitors in beach volleyball in today’s Elimination Rounds. From the morning well into the evening, spectators were steadfast in their support of their favorite teams with the wave, cheers and booming vuvuzelas.

The hot match of the day was Texas women’s team Amanda Dowdy (Lexington) and Irene Pollock (Fort Worth) vs. Angela Bensend (Plano) and Geena Urango (Los Alamitos, Calif.). Bensend and Urango, aka #TeamTexMex, locked in their spot after winning a fierce match in two close sets: 19-21, 19-21. Bensend and Urango now go on to face No. 2 two-time Olympic medalist April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.).

Dowdy and Pollock will contend with the No. 3 ranked team of Kim DiCello (San Diego, Calif) and Emily Stockman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in the Semi-Finals. The Women’s Semi-Finals kick-off at 9:30 a.m. CT tomorrow.

”It was an incredibly fun, exciting and intense match with so much energy from so many Austin fans in the stadium - they definitely made us all want to fight harder,” said Bensend. “It feels like home being back here with friends and family and it feels great to come out on the winning side.”

Due to the weather delay this morning, the men’s teams battled it out under the lights until well past 9 p.m., where courtsides remained full of boisterous fans.

No. 2 ranked team Trevor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) successfully battled through matches in today’s Eliminations and will face No. 4 John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Jeremy Casebeer (Santa Barbara, Calif.), while No. 1 Phil Dalhausser (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) will go up against No. 3 Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.) and Billy Allen (Fallbrook, Calif.) The Men’s Semi-Finals begin tomorrow morning at 10:35 a.m. CT.

The last day of the AVP Austin Open begins with Semi-Finals tomorrow, Sunday, May 21 at 9 a.m. CT. The Finals will air nationally on NBCSN Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. CT with veteran broadcaster and Olympic gold medalists Chris Marlowe, Kevin Wong (analyst) and reporter Dain Blanton (reporter). Additional coverage of the tournaments will be streamed live online all weekend at www.avp.com.

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Photos by Ralph Arvesen:
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