As the sun set on Chicago Saturday night, the semifinals field was set for the AVP Gold Series Championships, though the day was ripe with upsets in the contender’s bracket, with No. 18 Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil making it all the way back to the semis through five matches.
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.
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.
Two of the biggest stories of the AVP Hermosa Beach Open were the last minute pairings of two of the event’s contenders due to injury with each garnering mixed results.
Before the main draw action begins, No. 11 seed Jeremy Casebeer announced he will be competing with a new partner due to a “minor injury not worth aggravating” to Reid Priddy, none other than 2000 Olympic beach gold medalist Eric Fonoimoana.
After the first day of main draw action, four men’s teams and four women’s are undefeated atop the winner’s bracket heading into Saturday, including No. 8 Brittany Howard/Kelly Reeves and No. 7 Tim Bomgren/Chaim Schalk.
One hundred teams (55 men’s and 45 women’s) made their way to Espinho, Portugal for a chance to compete in the FIVB Four Star event this week. After country quota and qualifying matches, the 32-team fields per gender are set.