The best photos from a great Sunday at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open

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Andy Benesh-Billy Allen
Andy Benesh tries to revive Billy Allen during the long freeze in set 2/Mark Rigney photo

AVP Manhattan Beach fans were treated to epic volleyball in just about every match Sunday. Newly crowned gold medalists April Ross and Alix Klineman won the women’s bracket, with Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb getting their names on the Manhattan Beach Pier, the first for Bourne, second for Crabb.

Highlights included two surprise semifinals teams, Brazilian qualifiers Larissa Franca and Liliane Maestrini and No. 10 seed Billy Allen and Andy Benesh.

Last week’s Atlanta champions Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth? The former LSU stars took Kelly Claes and Sponcil to a 39-37 first set (the second longest in AVP history) before succumbing 21-15 in the second.

And oldies but goodies Ricardo Santos (age 46) and John Hyden (age 48) scratched and clawed their way to a fifth place finish with a 90-minute win over Paul Lotman and Miles Partain (21-16, 21-23, 16-14) before being eliminated in 97-minutes by Allen and Benesh (20-22, 23-21, 15-9).

The tournament proved that beach volleyball fans are back in a big way, with lines sometimes in excess of a hundred yards to get into the stadium and fans inside the stadium holding it throughout the day in order to keep their seats.

The best photos from VolleyballMag.com photo editor Ed Chan, Mark Rigney, and Jim Wolf follow. If you missed our previous AVP Manhattan Beach photo galleries, Saturday’s photos are here, Friday’s photos are here, Thursday’s photos are here, and Wednesday’s photos are here.

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