The sixth stop of the 2017 AVP Pro Vollyball Tour was hosted in Hermosa Beach the weekend of July 21-23. This nostalgic event for Hermosa locals attracted crowds early and the factions of team diehards abounded. The AVP hasn’t been held in Hermosa since 2010 when Olympian volleyball heavy hitters Sean Rosenthal and Jake Gibb were still a team.
New Talent Shines
Pacific Palisades locals, the Partain brothers played their way through qualifiers Friday morning to making them the youngest team to ever make it to the main draw. Fifteen-year-old Miles Partain and his older brother, seventeen-year-old Marcus Partain fell to No. 10 ranked team of Michael Brunsting (San Diego, Calif.) and Jeff Samuels (Grand Blanc, Mich.), who came back to defeat the youngsters in three sets, 21-16, 19-21 and 16-14. The Partain brothers later fell to Avery Drost (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Chase Frishman (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) in a loud match led by each team’s entourage in two sets.
In their second AVP Tournament together Manhattan Beach natives Lane Carico and Alix Klineman were undefeated friday. One game short of the semi-finals, they lost to Maria Salgado (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Caitlin Ledoux (San Diego, Calif.). Then losing to No. 1 ranked Emily Day (Torrance Calif.) and partner Brittany Hochevar (Torrance, Calif.) putting them out of contention.
New Sand, Same Champ
The championships belonged to second-time champions on both the Men’s and Women’s side.
The Men’s Finals was an event with lots on the line. Not only was the game a rematch of the semi-finals, but also both teams had an old teammate on the opposing side. Brother vs. Brother, Crabb Fest standoff with the younger Taylor Crabb and partner Gibb vs. his older brother, Trevor Crabb and partner Rosenthal. Gibb and Rosenthal were also former partners of seven years, with two Olympics together under their belt. The game was a competitive three set match with Crabb and Gibb as took home the men’s win with a final score of 21-16, 21-17, 15-11.
The Women’s Finals found “Em’s Entourage” in full effect top ranked Emily Day and partner Brittany Hochevar vs. No. 4 ranked team #TexMex Angela ‘Benny’ Bensend (Plano, Texas) and Geena Urango (Los Alamitos, Calif.). Being Bendsend’s 28th Birthday, today’s finals was a special day for the team’s fourth final appearance. Until Day and Hochevar flexed why they are ranked no. 1 and swept the match in two sets, 21-17, 21-13.
Sponsors that helped bring the AVP back to Hermosa include: Obrigado, Wild Horse, Nature’s Path, Kona Deep, Smarty Pants, Wilson, Boston Beer, Breville, Klenskin Sunscreen, Vionic Beach, Paramount & Co., Power Crunch, Rox Volleyball, Takeya, Frontier Communications, Naked Juice, Otter Pops, Jolyn, Dulce Vida Tequila, Noosa Yoghurt, Cutco Knives, KT Tape, Cali Sun Skateboards, Wholly Guacamole, T-Mobile and Bai.
The AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) has been the world’s premier beach volleyball organization for over 3 decades. Established in 1983, the brand has a 34-year rich history in creating, staging and marketing some of the most innovative and engaging sporting events in North America. 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 and Phil Dalhausser. The AVP today is comprised of four divisions: AVP Academy, AVPNext, the AVP Pro Tour and their non-profit 501(c)3 organization, AVPFirst. For more information, visit www.avp.com