In a wind tunnel between two failed casinos, strange things were happening in the AVP’s DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational. Saturday’s main draw kicked off with a slew of upsets, including the No. 11-seeded Amanda Dowdy and Branagan Fuller taking down the No. 6 seed Christal Engle and Sarah Day and subsequently knocking off No. 3 seed Lane Carico and Kim DiCello.
Dowdy and Fuller play Emily Day and Summer Ross this morning for a chance to move on to the semis.
No. 12-seeded Tealle Hunkus and Kendra Van Zwieten came out strong as well, taking advantage of whatever voodoo was in the air to send Cincinnati semifinalist Brittany Hochevar and Ali Daley McColloch to the contenders bracket 30-28, 21-11. Both duos are still alive as we begin Sunday’s competition, both battling through the contenders bracket (Hunkus and Van Zwieten fell to Whitney Pavlik and Heather Hughes in the second round) with hopes of making the crossover.
On the men’s side, Ty Tramblie and Andrei Belov shocked St. Petersburg champs Brad Keenan and John Mayer who entered the Atlantic City event as the No. 5 seed with a 21-14, 21-15 trouncing. Qualifiers Hudson Bates and Dave McKienzie won their first round match over Theo Brunner and Todd Rogers, creating a rare match up between the No. 12 and No. 13 seeds in the second round of the winner’s bracket. Tramblie and Belov won that match in three, but fell to No. 1 seeds Casey Patterson and Jake Gibb early this morning. Tramblie and Belov play Billy Allen and Trevor Crabb later today for the chance to make the crossover and play in the semifinals.
Jersey native Shane Donohue and his partner Eric Lucas came through the qualifier as the only local team to make the main draw. Falling to Patterson and GIbb in the first round, the duo then came oh-so-close to defeating Englishman Steve Grotowski and Brazilian Pedro Brazao, claiming set two 21-19 after falling 21-11 in set one, only to lose 15-13 in the third. Even so, the George Mason and Ramapo College grads who fell in the final round of the Cincinnati qualifier to Mark Burik and Andrew Dentler a week before, went home smiling with $2,000 in their pockets.