Gibb and Patterson Repeat in Atlantic City

Peter Tobia
Casey Patterson holds up his winning chip at the Atlantic City AVP event.

Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson cemented their place as equal rivals with No. 1 U.S. team Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser this weekend in Atlantic City after taking their second consecutive AVP title. In Cincinnati, they took the championship match away from underdogs Theo Brunner and Nick Lucena and on a week later followed up with a win over Rosenthal and Dalhausser in the Atlantic City final. One couldn’t even really call the match on stadium court between the Revel and Showboat casinos close. Gibb and Patterson dismissed the duo of Olympians 21-19, 21-15 in a mere 41 minutes.

The Atlantic City champions only had one moment of doubt throughout the short eight-team draw tournament. In a rematch of the Cincinnati final, they faced Brunner and Lucena in the second round. After winning 21-17, Gibb and Patterson dropped a set 17-21, and found themselves fighting for every point in the third. Brunner used his professional and college experience in the indoor version of the sport to ramp up his jump serve and blocking, while Lucena played admirable defense and found ways around Gibb’s formidable block, including tooling the block multiple times. After trading match points back and forth, Gibb and Patterson found a way to win the third set 17-15, allowing them to proceed to the semifinal match the next morning (which they won 21-18, 21-16 over Ryan Doherty and Todd Rogers).

On the women’s side, number one-seeded favorites April Ross and Jen Kessy came out with the $13,000 first place prize but not before battling through two long matches in the semis and final versus Lauren Fendrick and Brittany Hochevar and Emily Day and Summer Ross respectively.

Ross and Day entered the tournament through the qualifier for the second week in a row, only to defeat every opponent that stood in their path, allowing only Lane Carico and Heather Hughes (in the qualifier final) and Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat (in the second round of the main draw) to push them as far as a third game.

Ross and Kessy redeemed their Cincinnati semifinal loss to Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Whitney Pavlik by steaming through the Atlantic City draw undefeated.

The AVP will play this weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. The qualifier for the St. Pete event was held this weekend, and qualified teams include:

Dave McKienzie and Nils Nielsen
Bill Kolinske and Steven VanderWerp
Mark Burik and Drew Mallin
Jeremy Casebeer and Andrew McGuire
Sara Day and Kaitlin Nielsen
Michelle Iafigliola and Alison Kalish
Traci Morin and Aurora Skarra-Gallagher
Heather Lowe and Laryssa Mereszczak

They will join the usual suspects on the sands starting Friday. CBS Sports will broadcast the St. Pete finals Sunday, September 15, from 5-7 p.m. ET.

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