If nothing else, there’s consistency at the top of the AVP. And that was certainly the case Saturday at the AVP Seattle Open.
Seven of the top eight seeds filled Sunday’s semifinals slots. The lone exception was Billy Allen and Stafford Slick, the No. 7 men’s seed, who joined both sets of defending champions.
The recaps follow and so does a photo gallery by Stephen Burns.
Action starts Sunday at 9:15 a.m. Pacific at Lake Sammamish when third-seeded and defending-champions Emily Day and Betsi Flint play fourth-seeded Karissa Cook and Jace Pardon, followed by top-seeded Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil playing second-seeded Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman.
The first men’s semifinal is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. when third-seeded Jeremy Casebeer and Chaim Schalk take on No. 4 Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson, followed by top-seeded and defending-champions Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb playing Allen and Slick.
Allen and Slick had three straight-set wins Saturday, including avenging Friday’s loss to Bobby Jacobs and Reid Priddy with a 21-14, 21-19 victory. Allen and Slick, who won this tournament in 2017, also knocked out No. 11 Michael Brunsting and Ty Loomis (21-14, 21-16) as well as No. 5 Ed Ratledge and Roberto “Rafu” Rodriguez (21-16, 21-17), sending them to a disappointing ninth-place finish.
“Staying in control is something that every team is looking for but over the last few weeks we’ve really been stressing about the things that are in our control, serving pressure, setting up our defensive schemes, and scouting before our match to get a good game plan, and we executed it pretty well,” Slick said in the Amazon Prime post-match interview.
Both of Allen’s career victories were in Seattle, in 2016 with Theo Brunner, and 2017 with Slick.
“My wife is from this area, so we have a lot of support, three sets of grandparents up here this weekend,” Allen said. “It’s a nice home-like environment.”
Budinger and Patterson also came out of the contenders bracket after a well played loss to Crabb and Gibb (21-19, 21-19). They recovered by sending second-seeded Troy Field and Tim Bomgren home in fifth place (21-16, 27-25) in an exciting freeze situation where the set points reversed several times.
Crabb and Gibb can’t say they’ve expended a lot of energy so far. Friday, they won when Ricardo Santos and Sean Rosenthal had to forfeit and then had to play and win just once Saturday, beating Budinger and Patterson.
Casebeer’s powerful and accurate serve dominated his and Schalk’s 21-12, 21-12 win over Bobby Jacobs and Reid Priddy.
Larsen and Stockman and Cook and Pardon took the easy road through the women’s winners bracket, though the easy road was paved with three-set matches.
Larsen and Stockman outlasted Day and Flint (15-21, 22-20, 15-10). Cook and Pardon took down Claes and Sponcil (21-18, 13-21, 15-11).
Day and Flint found their way back to the semifinals after a win over the indefatigable qualifiers Brittany Tiegs and Molly Turner (21-17, 19-21, 15-11), who significantly outplayed their No. 14 seed with a fifth-place finish.
Claes and Sponcil scratched their way back with a defeat of No. 9 Amanda Dowdy and Corinne Quiggle (21-17, 19-21, 15-11).
Men Winners bracket round 3
Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (1) def. Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson (4) 21-19, 21-19 (0:43)
Jeremy Casebeer/Chaim Schalk (3) def. Bobby Jacobs/Reid Priddy (10) 21-12, 21-12 (0:39) Contenders bracket round 2
Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (7) def. Ed Ratledge/Roberto Rodriguez (5) 21-16, 21-17 (0:43)
Michael Brunsting/Ty Loomis (11) def. Sean Rosenthal/Ricardo Santos (8) by Forfeit
Tim Bomgren/Troy Field (2) def. Mark Burik/Ian Satterfield (12) 22-24, 21-13, 16-14 (1:11)
Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (6) def. Chase Frishman/Piotr Marciniak (9) 21-15, 21-15 (0:34) Contenders bracket round 3
Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (7) def. Michael Brunsting/Ty Loomis (11) 21-14, 21-16 (0:38)
Tim Bomgren/Troy Field (2) def. Ryan Doherty/John Hyden (6) 22-20, 21-19 (0:47) Contenders bracket round 4
Billy Allen/Stafford Slick (7) def. Bobby Jacobs/Reid Priddy (10) 21-14, 21-19 (0:43)
Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson (4) def. Tim Bomgren/Troy Field (2) 21-16, 27-25 (1:04)