WAIKIKI – Let the jokes roll in. Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena fell in the quarterfinals of AVP Hawai’i to a qualifier team — a qualifier team!
Plucky little qualifier team, too. Just, oh, John Hyden and Theo Brunner, a team with more than 30 combined professional victories. It’s a product of a different seeding system for this final event of the year, where main draw spots were determined by Gold Series points as a team. Hyden and Brunner, to the misfortune of every team in the qualifier and, on Saturday, Dalhausser and Lucena, only played two Gold Series events together, and those finishes weren’t quite enough to get them straight into the main draw.
So through the qualifier they went, going 2-0 before wrecking the seeding in main draw. Down went Brian Cook and Sean Rosenthal, Hermosa finalists Ryan Doherty and Miles Evans, Olympic hopefuls and Hawai’i natives Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb and lastly, Dalhausser and Lucena, 13-21, 21-15, 18-16 in the final match of the day.
The upset, or string of them, provided at least some semblance of disorder in what has been, and remains, the most orderly tournament of the season. The only top seed to not make the semifinals is Dalhausser and Lucena, though, yes, all jokes aside now, Brunner and Hyden could very well be considered a de facto top seed.
The remaining three teams in the men’s semifinals — Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger, Chaim Schalk and Jeremy Casebeer, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb — were all seeded in the top four. The women’s side, meanwhile, has yet to see a true upset, as all four top seeds continued to thrive after going unbeaten on Friday.
April Ross and Alix Klineman and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan both won in straight sets, with all signs pointing towards one final clash of arguably the top two teams in the world in Sunday’s finals.
Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil recovered from a narrow loss to Klineman and Ross with a win over Jace Pardon and Karissa Cook, and Emily Day and Betsi Flint did the same, moving on from a thumping at the hands of the Canadians to beat Amanda Dowdy and Corinne Quiggle.
One final Sunday remains in this AVP season. For the most part, it’s the teams that were favored to be there.
And that plucky qualifier team.
Alix Klineman/April Ross (1) vs. Emily Day/Betsi Flint (2)
Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil (4) vs. Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan (3)
Jeremy Casebeer/Chaim Schalk (4) vs. Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (2)
Theo Brunner/John Hyden (12, Q1) vs. Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson (3)
The results follow, thanks to BVBinfo.com. To watch Sunday’s action, click here for Amazon Prime.