2017-07-18T15:29:55Z 2017-07-18T15:29:55Z

AVP Austin Open Main Draw: Texas Women’s Teams to Face Off in Saturday Elimination Rounds

AVP Beach Volleyball
The second stop of the 2017 AVP Pro Tour kicked off with the Austin Open, drawing dedicated Friday crowds who gathered with air horns and homemade t-shirts to cheer on the most accomplished AVP and Olympic stars in today’s Main Draw. Top-ranked athletes including two-time Olympian April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Phil Dalhausser (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Texas-based athletes Amanda Dowdy (Lexington), Irene Pollock (Fort Worth) and Angela Bensend (Plano) battled to secure one of 12 spots per gender in the Elimination Rounds, which begin tomorrow, Saturday, May 20 at 9 a.m. CT.

It has been 12 years since the AVP Pro Tour was last in Austin, but with nearly 100 teams competing until 11 p.m. for Thursday’s Qualification Rounds alone, it is evident AVP beach volleyball has made its mark in Austin.

On the women’s side, hometown team Amanda ‘Rowdy’ Dowdy and Irene Pollock successfully advance to face off in a Texas match against No. 4 ranked Angela ‘Benny’ Bensend and partner Geena Urango (Los Alamitos, Calif.) at 1:35 p.m. CT tomorrow.

No. 7 ranked Brittany Tiegs (Jensen Beach, Fla.) and Sheila Shaw (Muskego, Wisc.) were defeated by No. 2 ranked team Ross and partner Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) Ross and Pavlik will face off No. 3 ranked Kim DiCello (San Diego, Calif.) and Emily Stockman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tomorrow at 11:25 a.m. CT in the Elimination Rounds.

“Competing on Stadium Court in front of a hometown crowd was so special for both Irene and I,” said Dowdy. “We got to share our winning moments with our family and friends. These are the people who go through the good times and the tough times with us, so it was extra special to share the good times today.”

The standout men’s team of the day were local Austin qualifiers, Francisco Quesada-Paneque and Troy Schlicker who gave it all they had to nearly defeat seasoned AVP pros and Olympians throughout the day, including Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Trevor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii), Stafford Slick (Andover, Min) and Billy Allen (Andover, Minn.).

"The energy around beach volleyball in Austin is magnetic, as evident by the dedicated fans who overflowed stands and cheered on their teams until 11 p.m. last night's Qualifications," said Donald Sun, managing partner, AVP. "We want to thank the Austin Sports Commission for helping us bring our event to this amazing city and are truly humbled to be able to contribute to the sport in even a small way."

The AVP Austin Open Elimination Rounds will continue tomorrow, Saturday, May 20 beginning at 9 a.m. CT. Finals will air nationally on NBCSN this Sunday, May 21 from 3 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. CT with veteran broadcaster and Olympic gold medalists Chris Marlowe, Kevin Wong (analyst) and Dain Blanton (reporter.)  Additional coverage of the tournament is streamed live online all weekend at www.AVP.com.

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Photos by Ralph Arvesen:
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