MANHATTAN BEACH, California — Half the semifinals await.
On the women’s side of the AVP Manhattan Beach Open, top-seeded April Ross and Alix Klineman play the winner of Sunday morning’s battle between second-seeded Olympians Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil and AVP Atlanta-champions Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss.
In the other semifinal, third-seeded Emily Day and Betsi Flint await and winner of the match between 20th-seeded Brazilians Larissa Franca and Liliane Maestrini and fourth-seeded Canadian Olympian Brandie Wilkerson and Sara Hughes.
The men’s side semifinalists are top-seeded and AVP Atlanta-champions Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson and third-seeded Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk.
Budinger-Patterson await the winner of Sunday’s match between upstarts Billy Allen and Andy Benesh play ninth-seeded John Hyden and Ricardo Santos.
And in a match with more subplots — Olympics, brotherhood and otherwise — Brunner-Schalk play the winner of the match between Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb against Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb.
Ross and Klineman, the USA pair that won gold at the Tokyo Olympics, have only played three times. They won twice Saturday, sweeping ninth-seeded Kloth and Nuss and then Hughes and Wilkerson. Day and Flint on Saturday swept sixth-seeded Karissa Cook and Kelly Reeves and then Claes and Sponcil.
Budinger and Patterson took a similar route. They swept John Hyden and Ricardo Santos and then had to go three to get past Bourne and Trevor Crabb.
Allen and Benesh got everyone’s attention by upsetting Olympians Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb before losing to Brunner and Schalk.