Ross/ Fendrick and Bourne/Hyden Win At Huntington Beach
September 24, 2015
Coming off the 2014 AVP Tour season, April Ross and Lauren Fendrick had been able to generate a healthy respect for each other from the other side of the net, as they faced off against each other in five finals over the AVP’s seven events last year.
With their regular partners nursing injuries for much of the current AVP season, the familiar foes agreed to join forces for the first time last weekend for the AVP’s season-ending Kingston AVP Championships at Huntington Beach.
Ross beat Fendrick in all five of those finals last year. On Sunday, Ross shared the wealth and spoils of success and helped Fendrick claim her first AVP title in defeating top-seeded Nicole Branagh and Jenny Kropp, 21-19, 23-21, to win the women’s final of the Kingston AVP Championships at Huntington Beach.
Third-seeded Tri Bourne (Manhattan Beach) and John Hyden (Sherman Oaks), runners-up the last two years at the Huntington Beach pier, got over the hump Sunday and collected their first Kingston AVP Championships at Huntington Beach with a thrilling 21-17, 23-25, 15-13 triumph over No. 2 seeds Ryan Doherty (Hermosa Beach) and John Mayer (Los Angeles). It was the third AVP championship for Bourne and 11th for Hyden.
The $200,000 Kingston AVP Championships at Huntington Beach featured the AVP’s largest purse of the season, with the men’s and women’s champions earning $20,000 each as well as an additional $5,000 bonus from AVP sponsor Rakuten Card.
Ross, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, collected her third overall (and second consecutive) Kingston AVP Championships at Huntington Beach title and has been the most dominant figure on the AVP in recent seasons. Ross has won 11 of the 12 AVP events she has played over the past two seasons. Beginning with her AVP win in Huntington Beach in 2010 with Jennifer Kessy, Ross has won 20 of her last 25 AVP tournaments.
A year after she and Kerri Walsh Jennings won all seven events on the 2014 AVP schedule (including last year’s AVP Championships at Huntington Beach), Ross set an AVP women’s record in winning an AVP tournament with a third different partner in a single season. Ross teamed with Walsh Jennings for the season-opening AVP New Orleans Open, then played with Jen Fopma to win the AVP Kingston Seattle Open and AVP Manhattan Beach Open Presented by Acer.
“I’m just blessed to be able to come out and play with such great players,” Ross said.
Ross (Costa Mesa) and Fendrick (Hermosa Beach) – seeded 11th by virtue of their new partnership – are the first tandem to win an AVP tournament while paired for the first time since Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs won the Huntington Beach event in 2002. Fendrick was a finalist in Huntington Beach in 2013 with Brittany Hochevar.
Ross and Fendrick put an end to the feel-good story of the tournament in defeating three-time reigning Olympic gold medalist and 66-time AVP tournament champion Misty May-Treanor – the Stadium Court crowd’s sentimental favorite – and Hochevar, 21-15, 21-15, in the semifinals.
May-Treanor – a five-time AVP champion in Huntington Beach – made her first AVP Tour appearance in Southern California, and second overall, since retiring from professional beach volleyball following her gold medal triumph at the 2012 London Olympics. May-Treanor/Hochevar were semifinalists at the AVP Kingston Seattle Open in August.
“I want to thank everybody, all the fans, for welcoming me back with open arms this week on the AVP. It’s been a lot of fun,” said May-Treanor, who trained for three days in the past week to prepare for the tournament.
AVP Kingston Chicago Open champs and three-time 2015 AVP runner-up Branagh (Hawthorne) and Kropp (Redondo Beach) held off No. 2 seeds Emily Day and Jennifer Kessy, 21-16, 21-17, in the other women’s semifinal. 2008 U.S. Olympian Branagh and Kropp were also finalists in this year’s AVP Kingston New York City Open and AVP Manhattan Beach Open.
Bourne and Hyden, last week’s AVP Kingston Cincinnati Open champs, squashed the AVP Championships at Huntington Beach repeat title bid of top seeds and Huntington Beach residents Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson by eliminating them, 21-17, 21-13, in the semifinals. Bourne/Hyden have swept Gibb/Patterson in their last four AVP matchups dating back to the AVP Manhattan Beach Open.
In the other men’s semifinal, AVP Kingston Seattle Open champs Doherty and Mayer knocked off brothers Trevor and Taylor Crabb, 21-11, 21-13. The Crabb brothers also lost to Doherty/Mayer in Friday’s second round.