Friday at the AVP Seattle Open was mostly as you’d expect, a day where the top seeds reestablish their superiority over the qualifiers. And that was largely the case on the shores of Lake Sammamish in suburban Issaquah, as nearly all of the top seeds advanced to the winners-bracket semifinals.
The exception? Reid Priddy and Bobby Jacobs.
The recaps follow and so does a photo gallery by Stephen Burns.
Priddy, needing a partner because Theo Brunner is recuperating from a calf strain, picked up the 6-foot-6 blocker Jacobs, the 81st-ranked player last year. Seeded 10th, they first upset seventh-seeded Billy Allen and Stafford Slick in a pair of deuce sets 21-19, 22-20, and then shocked second-seeded Tim Bomgren and Troy Field 16-21, 21-17, 15-9.
Priddy and Jacobs will play third-seeded Jeremy Casebeer and Chaim Schalk in Saturday’s winners bracket, while top-seeded Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb face fourth-seeded Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson. Gibb and Crabb moved into the winners semis when Ricardo Santos couldn’t go because of a right leg injury and he and partner Sean Rosenthal had to forfeit.
On the women’s side, the top four seeds collectively only lost two sets in two rounds. Second-seeded Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman play third-seeded Emily Day and Betsi Flint, followed by top-seeded Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil versus fourth-seeded Karissa Cook and Jace Pardon.
“I wasn’t even signed up for the tournament,” Jacobs said. “My regular partner Ric Cervantes was playing with his brother, and I didn’t even know of anyone to play with, so I was planning on playing some four-man this weekend at home.”
He heard from Priddy at 3 p.m. Monday. And Jacobs, probably best known for previously dating Amanda Stanton of “Bachelor” fame, could hardly believe it. But when an Olympic gold medalist asks you if you want to play a tournament, the answer is yes, and Priddy confirmed an hour later.
Jacobs, 33, has never finished higher than 17th — four times — in an AVP tournament. He basically has just dabbled with volleyball, primarily competing in the local Huntington, Hermosa and Manhattan events, playing 13 events since 2012.
“Oh my gosh, is this really happening? The nerves start setting in,” Jacobs admitted. “I can’t blow this opportunity. I don’t want to let him down.”
Jacobs, who lives in Newport Beach, got to practice twice with Priddy.
“Yesterday was an experience that I’ll never forget,” Jacobs said. “Reid pumps you up, he’s super-encouraging, he’s super-positive, and it shows too, I’m always happy.
“I show my excitement, and people are thinking, ‘What the heck is this guy doing?’ Every ace that he got, I’m screaming, I’m so happy. I think that fired up Reid, he was stoked to see that enjoyment from someone that doesn’t really get to experience that often.”
Jacobs admitted being nervous early.
“In the first match against Billy and Stafford, they were giving me pretty easy serves, and I was just shanking the ball everywhere, because that’s how nervous I actually was.
“But by the second match against Troy and Tim, the burden came off my shoulders after winning the first.”
Of course, when you’re 81st on the tour in 2018, and you’re playing with Priddy, you get served every ball. Except one.
“Troy and Tim were serving me every ball, but on one they served Reid, and then I tried to go over on two because I saw that the court was wide open, and I hit the ball out. And I thought, ‘Omigod, I just ruined that.’ Every time Reid got the ball, he was 100 percent. Every time. And then I go over on two and hit it out.”
Still, it was the most rewarding volleyball day in Jacobs’ career.
“I’ve only had one other match that felt as good as these felt. They were huge victories, something like I’ve never experienced before. It was amazing.”
There were no other surprises on the men’s side Friday, but there two upsets of note on the women’s side, where 12th-seeded Lara Dykstra and Kim Smith defeated fifth-seeded Terese Cannon and Irene Pollock 21-16, 21-18, and the new team of Kim DiCello and Kelley Reeves spoiled the afternoon plans of seventh-seeded Carly Wopat and Brittany Hochevar 21-19, 21-17.
Men Winners bracket round 3
Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (1) vs. Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson (4)
Jeremy Casebeer/Chaim Schalk (3) vs. Bobby Jacobs/Reid Priddy (10) Contenders bracket round 2
Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (7) vs. Ed Ratledge/Roberto Rodriguez (5)
Michael Brunsting/Ty Loomis (11) vs. Sean Rosenthal/Ricardo Santos (8)
Mark Burik/Ian Satterfield (12) vs. Tim Bomgren/Troy Field (2)
Chase Frishman/Piotr Marciniak (9) vs. Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (6)
Women Winners bracket round 3
Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil (1) vs. Karissa Cook/Jace Pardon (4)
Emily Day/Betsi Flint (3) vs. Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman (2) Contenders bracket round 2
Brittany Hochevar/Carly Wopat (7) vs. Lara Dykstra/Kimberly Smith (12, Q4)
Brittany Tiegs/Molly Turner (14, Q7) vs. Caitlin Ledoux/Geena Urango (8)
Terese Cannon/Irene Pollock (5) vs. Kim DiCello/Kelly Reeves (10)
Amanda Dowdy/Corinne Quiggle (9) vs. Brittany Howard/Katie Spieler (6)
Friday men Winners round 1 Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (1) def. David Lee/Raffe Paulis (16, Q8) 21-15, 21-13 (0:38)
Sean Rosenthal/Ricardo Santos (8) def. Chase Frishman/Piotr Marciniak (9) 21-19, 21-18 (0:54)
Ed Ratledge/Roberto Rodriguez (5) def. Mark Burik/Ian Satterfield (12) 21-18, 21-15 (0:46)
Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson (4) def. Duncan Budinger/Kyle Friend (13, Q2) 21-19, 21-18 (0:46)
Jeremy Casebeer/Chaim Schalk (3) def. Paul Lotman/Gabriel Ospina (14, Q5) 21-13, 21-15 (0:38)
Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (6) def. Michael Brunsting/Ty Loomis (11) 21-15, 21-19 (0:44)
Bobby Jacobs/Reid Priddy (10) def. Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (7) 21-19, 22-20 (0:42)
Tim Bomgren/Troy Field (2) def. Jacob Landel/Lev Priima (15, Q6) 23-21, 21-16 (0:49) Winners round 2 Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (1) def. Sean Rosenthal/Ricardo Santos (8) by Forfeit
Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson (4) def. Ed Ratledge/Roberto Rodriguez (5) 21-17, 21-17 (0:41)
Jeremy Casebeer/Chaim Schalk (3) def. Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (6) 21-15, 21-23, 15-13 (1:04)
Bobby Jacobs/Reid Priddy (10) def. Tim Bomgren/Troy Field (2) 16-21, 21-17, 15-9 (0:57) Contenders round 1
Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (7) def. Jacob Landel/Lev Priima (15, Q6) 18-21, 21-16, 15-11 (1:06)
Michael Brunsting/Ty Loomis (11) def. Paul Lotman/Gabriel Ospina (14, Q5) 23-25, 21-16, 15-11 (1:07)
Mark Burik/Ian Satterfield (12) def. Duncan Budinger/Kyle Friend (13, Q2) 18-21, 21-9, 15-8 (0:52)
Chase Frishman/Piotr Marciniak (9) def. David Lee/Raffe Paulis (16, Q8) 19-21, 21-14, 15-9 (1:00)