The top seeds — Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena and April Ross and Alix Klineman — held form on Friday at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open.
But three new teams had their day in the spotlight as the eight-team winners brackets in each gender and eight-team contenders brackets were set for Saturday.
For example, yet another USC-UCLA combination worked well, as former Trojan Terese Cannon and former UCLA great Kelly Reeves, who had six practices together in the previous 10 days, are into the women’s winners bracket as the fifth seed. They’ll play another former USC star in Sara Hughes, who is playing with Canadian Brandie Wilkerson. They’re seeded fourth. Reeves is older, but Hughes and Cannon are former teammates.
“I’ve played against Kelly a bunch,” Cannon said. “I love her fire on the court. It was something that we talked about a lot, we have a lot of the same goals, we decided to give it a shot.”
“Terese is a great blocker, I’ve kind of had my eye on her for a while, she’s been in the USA pipeline, I love her physicality, I love everything about her game,” said Reeves, who won an NCAA indoors title with UCLA. “She’s super-athletic, hungry to play, which I love, and she’s a beast at the net.
“She kicked butt at the net, she does a super job, and it’s been fun so far. She’s a stud. I like playing next to her.”
Their Saturday opponents, Hughes and Wilkerson, are a new team as Hughes waits for Summer Ross to recover from an injury.
“Right away my thought was to play in AVP’s with Brandie,” Hughes said, “because she’s an absolute power at the net and an overall amazing person.
“She’s been competing in AVP’s with different players, so I’m going to ask her early right away so I can snag her, and we were talking about some tournaments, and Manhattan came up, and we both were going to be in town, and we went 2-0 today, and I love playing with her.”
With Wilkerson residing in Toronto, the pair had just two pre-tournament practices.
“Right now our energy on the court is so great together, we take it seriously and we’re so competitive, but we like to smile on the court and have fun. With her that’s exactly how it goes. It’s super-positive energy and we have each other’s backs.
“We’re out here to win it, but we’ve been travelling, and she deserves some time off to be home. We’re serious, and we’re in it to win it.”
On the men’s side, the pair of Reid Priddy and Trevor Crabb was “Bourne” out of a broken hand, since Crabb’s normal partner, Tri Bourne, is injured.
“We both needed a partner after Vienna,” Crabb said. “Theo (Brunner) and Reid split, so obviously we were the best available for both of us. We got together, had three practices so far together, but we’re looking to win this thing.”
They’re seeded fourth and play fifth-seeded Jeremy Casebeer and Chaim Schalk.
“It’s fun to play with Trevor,” Priddy said. “He’s a good ball-control guy, has a real good sense of the game, and our chemistry is pretty good right out of the gate.
Although they were eliminated, 21st-seeded Christian Honer and Brian Miller pulled off an upset of the 12th-seeded McKibbin brothers, who later lost as well.
“They’re great players, they’re great dudes,” Honer said. “They’re super supportive. When I was going through some tough stuff, they were like, ‘Dude, keep playing.’ I really like what they do online and what they do as brothers, they’re a great team.”
Just one pair broke the top eight of the winners bracket. Tenth-seeded Avery Drost and Chase Frishman are in and play second-seeded Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson, who won the last AVP event, Hermosa Beach.
The women’s side was more unpredictable, with the top eight including 11th-seeded Canadians Melissa Humana-Parades and Sarah Pavan, who are having a great summer on the FIVB tour, and they’ll play 19th-seeded Delaney Knudsen and Katie Spieler.
Men’s winners bracket
Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (1) vs. Ryan Doherty/Miles Evans (8)
Jeremy Casebeer/Chaim Schalk (5) vs. Trevor Crabb/Reid Priddy (4)
Tim Bomgren/Troy Field (3) vs. Sean Rosenthal/Ricardo Santos (6)
Avery Drost/Chase Frishman (10) vs. Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson (2)
Men’s contenders bracket
Andy Benesh/Adam Roberts (18) vs. Ed Ratledge/Roberto Rodriguez (7)
Maddison McKibbin/Riley McKibbin (12) vs. Mark Burik/Ian Satterfield (13)
Bruno Amorim/Skylar del Sol (14) vs. Michael Brunsting/Ty Loomis (11)
Eric Beranek/Billy Kolinske (26, Q8) vs. Duncan Budinger/Kyle Friend (17)
Click here for the complete list of Friday’s men’s results, courtesy of BVBinfo.com.
Women’s winners bracket
Alix Klineman/April Ross (1) vs. Brittany Howard/Molly Turner (9)
Terese Cannon/Kelly Reeves (5) vs. Sara Hughes/Brandie Wilkerson (4)
Delaney Knudsen/Katie Spieler (19) vs. Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan (11)
Caitlin Ledoux/Maria Clara Salgado (10) vs. Emily Day/Betsi Flint (2)
Women’s contenders bracket
Falyn Fonoimoana/Alexa Strange (16) vs. Tory Paranagua/Jessica Sykora (18)
Jessica Gaffney/Chelsea Ross (24, Q4) vs. Amanda Dowdy/Corinne Quiggle (7)
Megan Rice/Brittany Tiegs (12) vs. Kimberly Hildreth/Sarah Schermerhorn (6)
Priscilla Piantadosi-Lima/Kimberly Smith (20) vs. Karissa Cook/Jace Pardon (3)
Traci Callahan/Carly Wopat (14) vs. Mackenzie Ponnet/Sheila Shaw (13)
Iya Lindahl/Morgan Martin (27, Q7) vs. Lara Dykstra/Allie Wheeler (21)
Crissy Jones/Susannah Muno (23) vs. Kim DiCello/Irene Pollock (8)
Nicolette Martin/Kerri Schuh (15) vs. Emily Hartong/Geena Urango (17)
Click here for the complete list of Friday’s women’s results, courtesy of BVBinfo.com.
Miss any of our Manhattan Beach coverage? Catch up here: