2019-05-22T18:59:25Z 2019-05-22T18:59:25Z

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Austin Open in Austin, Texas - Day 2

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Cannon, Fort Worth’s Pollock, Dalhausser and Lucena among the teams to advance to Sunday semifinals. Upsets continue in women’s main draw as two teams earn first-ever semifinal spots; Crabb/Gibb, Casebeer/Schalk win to set up a big Sunday.

Mother Nature kept the skies mostly rain-free on Saturday at the AVP Austin Open to let the world’s top beach volleyball players shine as elimination rounds continued. The sun made a few cameos across Krieg Fields courts as the crowd came out early and grew steadily throughout the day. In the end, four men’s and four women’s teams fought through tough competition to emerge from the winner’s and contender’s brackets, setting up an intriguing set of semifinal and final matches, beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Women’s
The winner’s bracket produced two semifinalists in No. 5 seeded Terese Cannon (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Texas native Irene Pollock (Fort Worth, Texas) and No. 14 Kimberly Hildreth (Novi, Mich.) and Sarah Schermerhorn (Colfax, N.C.). Cannon and Pollock, playing for the first time together at the AVP Austin Open, topped No. 9 Janelle Allen (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) and Kerri Schuh (Appleton, Wis.), 17-21, 22-20, 15-10, in an exciting Stadium Court match which featured an overturned line ruling and lively talk between each team. Hildreth and Schermerhorn continued their improbable, unbeaten run into Sunday with a straight-set, 22-20, 21-15 win over local favorites No. 15 Taylor Nyquist (Dallas, Texas) and Meghan Mannari (Frisco, Texas).

No. 4 Karissa Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) won three times on Saturday, taking down Texas native Amanda Dowdy (Lexington, Texas) and Corrine Quiggle (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.); sending dagger-like kills across the net to Brittany Howard (Los Altos, Calif.) and Kelly Reeves (San Diego, Calif.); and then edging out the talk-of-the-tournament home state favorites, Nyquist and Mannari, 13-15, 21-14, 15-11, to advance out of the contender’s bracket. Cook and Pardon will have a second chance at the team that sent them to the contender’s bracket, Pollock/Cannon, in Sunday’s semifinals.

The other semifinal slot was nabbed by the 10th-seeded duo of Nicolette Martin (Anaheim, Calif.) and Falyn Fonoimoana (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), who scored their biggest victories to date, rallying to bounce No. 1 seed Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Betsi Flint (Phoenix, Ariz.) in three sets, before earning the Sunday spot with a dominating 21-13, 21-14 win over Allen and Schuh in front of an enthusiastic Stadium Court crowd. Huge slams by Fonoimoana and spectacular hustles led them to victory. This marks the first semifinal for both Martin and Fonoimoana, in the USC graduates’ first year together. Interestingly, Fonoimoana is the niece of Eric Fonoimoana, a longtime AVP standout and beach volleyball gold medalist from the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. 
“Coming into today, Nicolette and I had the mindset that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Fonoimoana. “The Austin crowd is amazing and I truly appreciate their spirited cheers whether they were cheering for us or against us.”  
Men's
Two-time defending AVP Austin Open champions, No. 2 seed Phil Dalhausser (Orlando, Fla.) and Nick Lucena (Davie, Fla.), stayed undefeated with Dalhausser’s wall-like blocks and Lucena’s proficient defensive work in their Stadium Court triumph over No. 3 seed Ed Ratledge (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Roberto Rodriguez (Guaynabo, P.R.) (21-13, 16-21, 15-11). No. 4 seed Jeremy Casebeer (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) also won their third straight match of the tournament, topping No. 9 Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Ricardo Santos (Salvador, Brazil), 21-15, 21-15. 

The men’s contender’s bracket provided equally thrilling matchups, with No. 5 seed Tim Bomgren (Woodbury, Minn.) and Troy Field (Laguna Beach, Calif.) advancing to Sunday with a three-set win over No. 3 seed Ed Ratledge (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Roberto Rodriguez (Guaynabo, P.R.), 23-21, 18-21, 15-6, in a match that featured several downpours of rain, which didn’t deter a hearty crowd of umbrella-toting fans. On match point, Bomgren dug Ratledge’s hit, followed by Field outjumping Ratledge at the net for a bounce off Ratledge’s arm and out of bounds.

In the other contender’s final, an intense battle between two of the AVP’s most popular teams, No. 1 seed Taylor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Jake Gibb (Huntington Beach, Calif.) battled back from a Day One defeat to eliminate Rosenthal and Santos from the rest of the weekend, 19-21, 21-18, 15-12. A pivotal moment came in the second set, with Rosenthal and Santos having won the first and up 14-13, when Santos was called for a controversial net violation, a decision he protested strongly. The point went to Crabb and Gibb, who went on to take the set and then the match.
“I freaking love Austin,” said Gibb after the win when asked about the overflow crowds that cheered wildly throughout the match. “Texans love their sports, it’s my favorite spot on the AVP Tour. We have a ton left in us and we’ll be bringing our A-game tomorrow.” 
About AVP
Established in 1983 and headquartered in Southern California, the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) is the world's premier beach volleyball organization. The AVP today is comprised of five divisions: AVP Academy, AVPNext, the AVP Pro Tour, AVP America, and their non-profit 501(c)3 organization, AVPFirst. With a 36-year rich history in creating, staging, and marketing some of the most innovative and engaging sporting events in North America, the AVP has successfully developed an annual circuit that is not just a sporting event, but a lifestyle as well. The AVP has been the home of some of the most respected athletes in professional sports, including: gold medalists Karch Kiraly, Kent Steffes, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh-Jennings, Todd Rogers, Dain Blanton and Phil Dalhausser. For more information, please visit AVP.com.

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