Olympians Priddy, Pavan Bow Out in Qualifying Round of AVP Opener

  0 Braden Keith | May 04th, 2017 | AVP Tour, Beach, News, Pro Beach


The first stop of the 2017 AVP Tour in Huntington Beach, California began with the qualifiers bracket on Thursday. With a pile of new faces on the tour this season, there were some intriguing names that were unusually low seeds in this qualifier’s bracket.

Four men’s teams and four women’s teams advanced after day 1 to play in the Main Draw that begins on Friday.

Men’s Consolation Bracket

The big story of the day was the AVP debut of American Olympic gold medalist Reid Priddy and 2016 Canadian Olympian Chaim Schalk.

Schalk and Priddy were seeded just 32nd in the consolation bracket coming in, but advanced all the way to a play-in game for the Main Draw (which included beating the #1 seeds McColloch/Rodriguez-Bertran). There, they faced Branden Clemens and Ben Vaught.

The young Clemens/Vaught, who are just 22 and 20, respectively, and have no official earnings to their names, knocked off their Olympic opponents to advance.

4th-seeded Ed Ratledge and Eric Zaun took the second qualifier spot, where they’ll be joined by 2nd-seeded Michael Brunsting/Chase Frishman and 3rd-seeded brothers Maddison McKibbin and Riley McKibbin. In all, aside from the Priddy/Schalk upset of the #1 qualifier seeds, the other top 4 seeds earned spots in the main draw.

Brunsting and Frishman are coming off a 2016 AVP season that saw them finish in the top 10 twice – including a 9th-place finish in this same Huntington Beach Open last year. The McKibbin brothers, who played collegiately indoors at USC, finished 9th in 3 different tournaments last year.

Women’s Consolation Bracket

The women’s bracket had a similarly star-studded low seed. 2016 Olympic 5th-place finisher Sarah Pavan from Canada and two-time FIVB World Tour champion Maria Salgado from Brazil were the last seed in the tournament.

They didn’t make it as far as their male counterparts, however. Pavan/Salgado won 2 matches before losing to veteran pros Katie Jameson/Tracy Jones, the 3 seeds, who would eventually win their way into the main draw.

The women’s draw went almost to chalk. #1 seeds Janelle Allen/Briana Hinga won their quarter of the bracket; as did #4 seeds Bre Moreland and Kerri Schuh.

The one upset came at the bottom of the bracket, where #2 seeds Leah DeKok and Amanda Wiggins fell in the 2nd round to 31st-seeded Christina Alessi and Mackenzie Phelps-Ponnet. Alessi/Phelps-Ponnet had combined 1 AVP tournaments’ worth of experience coming into Thursday. They advanced all the way to a main draw play-in, before Alix Klineman and Jace Pardon beat them to take the final spot.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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