Opening day in the main draw the AVP Championships in Chicago was riddled with upsets and saw ninth-seeded Tim Bomgren/Chaim Schalk and No. 10 Brittany Howard/Kelly Reeves advance to the winner’s bracket final four.
AVP Chicago will see 124 teams, including qualifiers, compete on the last stop on the three-event gold series, which features increased points and a $250,000 prize purse.
Kerri Walsh Jennings has not made an official announcement about a new partner, but the three-time Olympic gold medalist teamed up with 2017 USC alumna Kelly Claes for the top podium spot at the NORCECA Women’s Qualifier on Wednesday.
Top seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena closed out a perfect 6-0 week with a 12-21, 22-20, 15-13 win over No. 3 Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb to clinch their fourth AVP Manhattan Beach crown on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, April Ross/Alix Klineman outlasted Brittany Hochevar/Kelly Claes for the women’s title.
Former partners Brittany Hochevar and Emily Day, who have won the last two Manhattan Beach Open titles together, will be on opposite sides of the court with another title shot on the line on Sunday. Meanwhile, No. 6 Jeremy Casebeer/Reid Priddy crashed the men’s final four playing through the contender’s bracket.
Friday’s AVP Manhattan Beach Open slate marked the return of Tri Bourne, after an 18-month battle with an autoimmune disorder, and also saw the top three seeds in the men’s and women’s brackets stay alive in the winner’s bracket. The No. 5 seeds on both sides also picked up three wins each.
Increased prize money and a jam-packed lineup including defending champions Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, have Manhattan Beach primed for the “Super Bowl of Beach Volleyball.”
The race for the Moscow Four Star gold is down to two women’s teams: Americans Summer Ross/Sara Hughes, who are in their first year together, and Brazilian power duo Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa, who teamed up in January 2017.
Two American pairs – April Ross/Alix Klineman and Summer Ross/Sara Hughes – are among the women’s quarterfinalists at the Moscow Four Star and they are set to play one another on Saturday for a spot in the semifinals.
Seven of the top eight seeds, including Americans April Ross/Alix Klineman, won pool titles in Moscow. Qualifiers Elize Maia/Maria Clara Salgado rounded out the group as the third Brazilian pool winners.