AVP Gold Series – The Championships in Chicago
Sixty-four men’s teams and 36 women’s faced off in Thursday’s qualifying bracket trying to earn a spot in the AVP Chicago main draw.
Making it through on the men’s side were:
- Kyle Friend/Myles Muagututia
- Christian Honer/Ryan Meehan
- Jon Drake/Joe Ruzick
- Eric Beranek/Cole Fiers
- Adam Gustafson/Kyle Radde
- Paul Araiza/David Lee
- Steven Roschitz/Silila Tucker
- Bruno Amorim/Skylar del Sol
Amorim/del Sol were the only one of the eight qualifiers to make the main draw with three straight set wins, not allowing their foes more than 16 points in any of the six sets. The pair won 21-9, 21-9 vs. Timothy Cooper/Matthew West, 21-16, 21-15 vs. Philip Burrow/Alex Diaz and 21-14, 21-9 vs. Dillon Cox/Mike Michelau.
On the other end of the ledger, Drake/Ruzick and Roschitz/Tucker each went the distance in their final two contests. Roschitz/Tucker had to rally in their final contest for a 16-21, 21-19, 15-13 win. Meanwhile, it took a 14-21, 22-20, 15-9 win in round 2 to keep Drake/Ruzick alive.
Honer/Meehan also played two tiebreak matches, rallying in each of their first two contests for victory. First up, the pair topped Michael Groselle/Brad Torsone 21-23, 21-16, 16-14. Next, the duo ousted No. 2 qualifiers Branden Clemens/Benjamin Vaught 16-21, 21-18, 17-15. In their final match, the pair outdid Dan Buehring/Matthew McCarthy 23-21, 21-12.
Araiza and indoor Olympian David Lee picked up two straight set victories, before upsetting top qualifier Raffe Paulis/Jeff Samuels in tiebreak, rallying for the 15-21, 21-11, 15-8 win.
Berenek/Fiers played their toughest match to open the day, coming back against Garrett Bucklin/Frank Field for a 22-24, 21-9, 15-13 victory, before winning two via sweep.
In women’s qualifying, it was
- Delaney Knudsen/Jessica Sykora
- Annika Van Gunst/Teegan Van Gunst
- Cassie House/Molly Turner
- Falyn Fonoimoana/Priscilla Piantadosi-Lima
- Nicolette Martin/Tory Paranagua
- Mackenzie Ponnet/Brittany Tiegs
- Carolyn Meister/Vendula Strakova
- Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil
Meister/Strakova had to play just one match to make the main draw after their intended first round opponent forfeited. It did take a tiebreak win, however, to stamp their ticket to Friday. The pair rallied past Lauren Dickson/Claire Wolfe 19-21, 21-15, 15-10.
House/Turner also benefitted from a first round forfeit. The duo then swept past Tanna Aljoe/Brittany Fennell 21-16, 21-19 to move on.
Fonoimoana/Piantadosi-Lima rallied for a 22-24, 21-15, 15-10 opening round win over Carly Wopat/Elise Zappia before cementing their place in the main draw with a 21-18, 21-13 win over Avery Bush/Camie Manwill.
Van Gunst/Van Gunst played two tiebreak matches on Thursday. The pair bested Suzana Manole/Lavinia Tataran 18-21, 21-14, 15-8 and then again dug deep rallying past Kimberly Hildreth/Sarah Schermerhorn 16-21, 24-22, 15-13.
Sponcil/Cannon, who are playing their first tournament together in 2018 after Sponcil played on both the AVP and FIVB stages with partner Lauren Fendrick, blazed through the opposition, never allowing more than 12 points in a set. The duo won 21-8, 21-15 against Jessica Gaffney/Katie Pyles and Chelsea Ross/Bethanie Thomas 21-12, 21-10.