Upset Windy City as Hughes-Claes, Casebeer-Mayer, Doherty-Hyden into AVP semis

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Sara Hughes, AVP, Championships, Chicago, Oak Street Beach, Association of Volleyball Professionals, Manhattan Beach, beach volleyball, sand volleyball, doubles volleyball, professional beach volleyball, Volleyball Magazine, VolleyballMag.com, 2017,
Sara Hughes hustles after a dig in quarterfinal play/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

CHICAGO — Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes won a thriller on Saturday afternoon, beating top-seeded Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar in winners-bracket play 21-17, 21-23, 18-16 in a match that took an hour, 22 minutes.

The 12th-seeded youngsters continued their magnificent summer of 2017 on a day on Lake Michigan where the results got everyone’s attention.

On the women’s side, Claes and Hughes are into one semifinal, while third-seeded Summer Ross and Brooke Sweat — who have had a heck of a 2017 themselves — are in the other. They advanced by sending top-seeded Lauren Fendrick and April Ross to the contenders bracket 17-21, 21-19, 15-10.

For Claes and Hughes, the third set alone was a 34-minute affair, with the score freeze occurring at 14-11 in favor of Claes and Hughes. Throughout the 29-serve, 17-minute freeze, Day and Hochevar would close to 14-all and keep pace to 16-all before finally succumbing 18-16.

“We just kept fighting together. We’ve been down in the first, came back in the second, up in the first, down in the second, it doesn’t matter,” Claes said. “When that third game starts, it’s a new game and it’s us on the court playing for each other and that’s what we did out there.”

“One ball at a time,” added Hughes.

John Mayer runs down a shot during the last match of the day/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

The men’s semifinals will feature eighth-seeded Jeremy Casebeer and John Mayer on one side and seventh-seeded Ryan Doherty and John Hyden on the other.

Casebeer and Mayer got in by first upsetting top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena 22-20, 21-18, and then getting past fourth-seeded Billy Allen and Stafford Slick 24-22, 21-15.

“We finally put it all together,” Casebeer said. “We can be a very good serving team when we’re serving tough and in, and we didn’t miss too many. We had some good opportunities and served well and sided out well.”

Mayer and Casebeer, who have equaled their 2017 finish — they finished third at both AVP Austin and AVP Seattle, which were both fields competing with FIVB events — believe that their teamwork is on point.

“This is a deep field,” Mayer said. “There are so many good teams out here and we’ve worked really hard this season. We got together right before (the start of the season), I think we’ve slowly gotten better and it’s really starting to come together at the end of the year.”

Doherty and Hyden beat second-seeded Trevor Crabb and Sean Rosenthal 18-21, 21-17, 15-11 and then rallied  again, this time for a 16-21, 22-20, 15-11 victory over third-seeded Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb.

“We’ve had some absolute battles with Jake and Taylor this year,” Doherty said. “They’re super-athletic. Jake is as good as anyone in the world. We jumped out to that early lead, Johnny was serving really tough, which got us some points.

“We tried to survive their onslaught at the end, we were able to pull it out, and we’re really happy to play in the semifinals.”

Hyden believes that the difference between the top teams and the rest is their transition conversions.

“The first game we weren’t taking care of business. We had some plays that we just didn’t win. Halfway through the second game, I said to Ryan, ‘We’d be ahead if we made those plays.’

“We were making those plays all through the third. It’s those small plays, the transition plays, good sets, good digs, maybe some on twos. That’s what you have to do to win.”

Summer Ross, AVP, Championships, Chicago, Oak Street Beach, Association of Volleyball Professionals, Manhattan Beach, beach volleyball, sand volleyball, doubles volleyball, professional beach volleyball, Volleyball Magazine, VolleyballMag.com, 2017,
Summer Ross overruns the ball after it clips the tape on the way down/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Saturday’s men’s winners bracket
Round 3
Match 17: Jeremy Casebeer/John Mayer (8) def. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (1) 22-20, 21-18 (0:49)
Match 18: Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (4) def. Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson (5) 21-12, 18-21, 15-12 (0:58)
Match 19: Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (3) def. Reid Priddy/Ricardo Santos (6) 21-13, 22-20 (0:47)       Match 20: Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (7) def. Trevor Crabb/Sean Rosenthal (2) 18-21, 21-17, 15-13 (0:59)
Round 4
Match 21: Jeremy Casebeer/John Mayer (8) def. Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (4) 24-22, 21-15 (0:53)
Match 22: Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (7) def. Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (3) 16-21, 22-20, 15-11 (1:00)
Contenders bracket
Round 2
Match 31: Piotr Marciniak/Roberto Rodriguez (15) def. Avery Drost/Chase Frishman (10) 21-16, 21-15 (0:44)
Match 32: Brian Bomgren/Tim Bomgren (14) def. Michael Brunsting/Ty Loomis (11) 22-20, 21-16 (0:51)
Match 33: Marty Lorenz/Chaim Schalk (13) def. Maddison McKibbin/Riley McKibbin (12) 21-17, 21-19 (0:42)
Match 34: Ed Ratledge/Eric Zaun (9) def. Raffe Paulis/Jeff Samuels (18, Q2) 21-16, 21-19 (0:47)
Round 3
Match 35: Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson (5) def. Piotr Marciniak/Roberto Rodriguez (15) 21-15, 21-9 (0:37)
Match 36: Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (1) def. Brian Bomgren/Tim Bomgren (14) 21-17, 21-12 (0:40)
Match 37: Trevor Crabb/Sean Rosenthal (2) def. Marty Lorenz/Chaim Schalk (13) 21-15, 21-16 (0:38)
Match 38: Ed Ratledge/Eric Zaun (9) def. Reid Priddy/Ricardo Santos (6) 23-21, 22-24, 15-7 (1:29)
Round 4
Match 39: Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (1) def. Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson (5) 20-22, 21-18, 15-5 (0:51)
Match 40: Trevor Crabb/Sean Rosenthal (2) def. Ed Ratledge/Eric Zaun (9) 21-19, 21-19 (0:51)
Round 5
Match 41: Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (3) vs. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (1)
Match 42: Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (4) vs. Trevor Crabb/Sean Rosenthal (2)
Sunday’s semifinals
Jeremy Casebeer/John Mayer (8) vs. TBD
Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (7) vs. TBD

Saturday’s women’s winners bracket
Round 3
Match 17: Emily Day/Brittany Hochevar (1) def. Caitlin Ledoux/Maria Clara Salgado (9) 21-19, 12-21, 15-11 (0:55)
Match 18: Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (12) def. Betsi Flint/Kelley Larsen (4) 21-18, 18-21, 15-13 (1:00)
Match 19: Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat (3) def. Aurora Davis/Bree Scarbrough (22, Q6) 21-14, 21-14 (0:36)
Match 20: Lauren Fendrick/April Ross (2) def. Angela Bensend/Geena Urango (7) 21-11, 13-21, 15-9 (1:04)
Round 4
Match 21: Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (12) def. Emily Day/Brittany Hochevar (1) 21-17, 21-23, 18-16 (1:22)
Match 22: Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat (3) def. Lauren Fendrick/April Ross (2) 17-21, 21-19, 15-10 (1:01)
Contenders bracket
Round 2
Match 31: Karissa Cook/Katie Spieler (18, Q2) def. Mackenzie Phelps-Ponnet/Christina Vucich (24, Q8) 13-21, 22-20, 15-10 (0:53)
Match 32: Lane Carico/Alix Klineman (6) def. Karolina Marciniak/Kendra VanZwieten (14) 21-18, 21-11 (0:37)
Match 33: Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock (11) def. Priscilla Piantadosi-Lima/Brittany Tiegs (19, Q3) 21-17, 23-21 (0:56)
Match 34: Nicole Branagh/Brandie Wilkerson (8) def. Lara Dykstra/Jace Pardon (17, Q1) 21-18, 21-13 (0:40)
Round 3
Match 35: Betsi Flint/Kelley Larsen (4) def. Karissa Cook/Katie Spieler (18, Q2) 22-20, 21-13 (0:36)
Match 36: Caitlin Ledoux/Maria Clara Salgado (9) def. Lane Carico/Alix Klineman (6) 21-19, 16-21, 16-14 (1:00)
Match 37: Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock (11) def. Angela Bensend/Geena Urango (7) 13-21, 21-12, 15-11 (0:56)
Match 38: Nicole Branagh/Brandie Wilkerson (8) def. Aurora Davis/Bree Scarbrough (22, Q6) 21-16, 21-7 (0:38)
Round 4
Match 39: Caitlin Ledoux/Maria Clara Salgado (9) def. Betsi Flint/Kelley Larsen (4) 21-17, 21-18 (0:39)
Match 40: Nicole Branagh/Brandie Wilkerson (8) def. Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock (11) 21-8, 21-15 (0:48)
Round 5
Match 41: Lauren Fendrick/April Ross (2) vs. Caitlin Ledoux/Maria Clara Salgado (9)
Match 42: Emily Day/Brittany Hochevar (1) vs. Nicole Branagh/Brandie Wilkerson (8)
Sunday’s semifinals
Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (12) vs. TBD
Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat (3) vs. TBD

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