2019-05-22T19:16:21Z 2019-05-22T19:16:21Z

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Austin Open in Austin, Texas - Day 3

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen

Karissa Cook / Jace Pardon and Taylor Crabb / Jake Gibb Crowned Champions at the 2019 AVP Austin Open. Four days of passionate crowds, exciting matches and a few surprising results wrapped up today as the AVP Austin Open held its semifinals and finals at Krieg Fields. Under welcomed sunshine and temperatures in the high 80s, enthusiastic fans filled the stands, boxes and cabanas as four men’s and four women’s teams battled it out for the coveted titles. Between Thursday and Sunday, 33,000 tournament and festival attendees came out to be a part of the action and cheer on their favorite teams.

In the end, history was made with a pair of first-time champions on the women’s side and an all-time comeback in the men’s bracket for the second consecutive tournament. 

Women’s Semifinals   
In the first-ever AVP semifinal appearance for both teams, the No. 10 seeded duo of Nicolette Martin (Anaheim, Calif.) and Falyn Fonoimoana (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and No. 14 Kimberly Hildreth (Novi, Mich.) and Sarah Schermerhorn (Colfax, N.C.) faced off Sunday morning to see who would advance to their first finals. Fonoimoana sent kill after kill across the net causing roaring reactions from the crowd in approval. 

Martin and Fonoimoana kept up the hustle, and points stacked up on both sides of the scoreboard. In a key point during the first set, the score sat at 18-17, Schermerhorn stuffed a Fonoimoana kill attempt, followed by a kill of her own for a two-point lead at 19-17. Schermerhorn later finished off with a kill for a 21-18 first set win. The second set also went down to the end, with Hildreth and Schermerhorn pulling off the 21-19 win for a spot in Sunday’s AVP Austin Open finals.

The second women’s semifinals served up No. 5 seed Terese Cannon (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Texas native Irene Pollock (Fort Worth, Texas) versus No. 4 Karissa Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.). And while three of the four players had appeared in semifinals before (Pollock twice, Cannon and Cook), neither team had ever reached the round together. 

While fans were cheering for both teams, the yells seemed a little louder for Texas’s Pollock. Cook/Pardon took the first set 21-17 but Pollock answered back by starting out the second set with an ace. Both teams showed why they were in the semifinals with controlled sets and targeted hits. After numerous back-and-forths Pollock sent a huge hit over the net, but the ball ricocheted back on her and Cannon’s side for match point (21-14), securing Cook/Pardon’s first finals in their first year as a team. 

Men’s Semifinals
Action on Stadium Court got underway Sunday with the men’s semifinals, No. 4 seeds Jeremy Casebeer (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) taking on No. 7 seeds Tim Bomgren (Woodbury, Minn.) and Troy Field (Laguna Beach, Calif.). Long rallies looked like the theme of the game but Casebeer/Schalk ended up dominating in the first set, winning 21-14. The second set started out heavy with strong offense and defense coming from both teams. Field, wearing his signature pink hat, prevented two match points with standout play. Casebeer/Schalk eventually executed a second set win, 21-12, to advance to finals. 

Men’s semifinals match number two was one of the best of the day, and with good reason. In many ways it felt like a familiar final with the top two seeds battling it out, No. 1 seed Jake Gibb (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Taylor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) versus No. 2 seed Phil Dalhausser (Orlando, Fla.) and Nick Lucena (Davie, Fla.). 

Lucena’s ace to start the match set the tone in a 21-16 first-set win for the two-time defending champs. With the second set tied at 9, Dalhausser vocally disagreed with a call, then later slammed two aces in a row for a 14-14 tie. At 20-19, Lucena served and Crabb went sky-high and popped the ball into the back corner of the court for match point to send it to a third. Set three was nothing short of thrilling with Gibb/Crabb leading 14-13, Crabb made a huge dig, eventually putting down a kill on match point, sending the top seeds into the final.

Women’s Finals
With four players who had never been to an AVP final before, the AVP Austin Open was guaranteed to  crown a first-time champion today. No. 4 seed Karissa Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) took on the surprise team of the event, No. 14 seed Kimberly Hildreth (Novi, Mich.) and Sarah Schermerhorn (Colfax, N.C.). Cook/Pardon had reached the final through the contender's bracket, and Hildreth/Schermerhorn were in via the qualifying draw, having won seven straight matches here in Austin. 

After answering tough hits from the other side and giving no signs of slowing down, Cook/Pardon took the first set, 21-11. The fourth seeds kept up the pressure, racing out to an early lead in the second set, getting to 20-11 with a chance to close it out. But Hildreth/Schermerhorn battled back, siding out three times to extend the match during the score freeze, to the delight of the crowd. In the end, the ball fell beyond Hildreth’s reach, and Cook/Pardon were crowned AVP Austin Open Champions, 21-11, 21-11 thus earning a spot in the season-ending AVP Hawaii Open presented by Hawaii Tourism in September.
"It was a really tough tournament. We came out with everything we had," said Pardon. "I'm on cloud nine; I used to volunteer at these events as a little kid, and being from Manhattan Beach it's everything to be an AVP champ. We worked so hard and we're so excited, plus we get to go to Hawaii!" 
"They're both amazing side out players," added Cook. "I've played them a few times in Qualifiers. They're a really dangerous team with great ball control. We're happy to get the win against such a good team." 
Men’s Finals 
With a full stadium, bumping beats by DJ Roueche and highly-entertaining commentary by announcer Mark Schuermann, the fans filled the seats and lined every available spot along the court for the AVP Austin Open men’s championship between No. 4 seeds Jeremy Casebeer (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) and No. 1 seeds Taylor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Jake Gibb (Huntington Beach, Calif.). Repeating history after a similar situation at the Huntington Beach Open, Crabb/Gibb had to climb back through the contender’s bracket to reach the finals after losing their first round match on Friday. 

At 8-8, the top seeds started inching ahead with key blocks and focused determination. Then at 13-9, a huge dig by Crabb led to a kill, and Casebeer/Schalk would get no closer to their opponents than four points the rest of the set. The number one-seeded duo came out on top, 21-16. Casebeer/Schalk, in their first finals together in their first year as a team, faced steep competition but held their own with their sheer athleticism. In the second set, the fourth seeds didn't go down without a fight, staving off six match points at 15-20, but could only close the gap to 16-20 before, on the seventh championship point, Gibb blocked a Schalk shot straight down for the 21-16 win and the title. The win marked the second time since 2001 that any team lost its first match in an AVP tournament and came back to earn the championship. 
“We trained so we could push through this. I could go another two matches, to be honest with you, but I'm tired at the same time," said Crabb of the extra matches needed to win the event. 
"I knew when we lost our [first round] match that we were coming through Nick [Lucena] and Phil [Dalhausser]'s side," added Gibb, "and we had to grind through some other great teams too." 
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.

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball
web | facebook | twitter | instagram

Photos by Ralph Arvesen
web | facebook | twitter | instagram

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen AVP Pro Beach Volleyball | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Share:

Related events: