Olympians Dominate AVP Huntington Beach Volleyball
May 26, 2016
The 2016 AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour crowned two champions Sunday at the Huntington Beach Open.
#1 ranked Kerri Walsh Jennings & April Ross dominated yet again on the women’s side while #2 Jake Gibb & Casey Patterson were tested in a straight set final in the men’s bracket on the tour’s second stop of the year.
Olympians Walsh Jennings/Ross dispatched of Angela Bensend & Geena Urango in a crisp two-setter while fellow Olympian Gibb and his partner, Patterson, played a thrilling see-saw match against brothers Taylor & Trevor Crabb.
The four-day event, which was played on the sands of the Pacific Ocean by the Huntington Beach Pier, has a total purse of $150,000, with equal payouts for men and women.
Walsh Jennings, a three time Olympic gold medalist, and Ross, an Olympic silver medalist, served notice that they are hitting on all cylinders in the run up to the Rio Olympics with the 21-13, 21-16 victory over Bensend/Urango in a match broadcast live on NBCSN.
Gibb/Patterson followed suit with a 21-19, 23-21 win with each team going on impressive runs.
The Walsh Jennings/Ross duo outscored opponents 210-116 (giving up an average of only 11.6 points per set) over their five-game stint in Huntington Beach. With the win, their 46th in a row on the tour, Walsh Jennings/Ross notched their 10th AVP title together and their second at Huntington Beach (2013). The pair boast a 54-1 match record on the AVP, 49 of which coming in sweeps.
Walsh Jennings now has seven Huntington Beach titles with three different partners.
Fifth-seeded Bensend/Urango finished second for the second time this season and the third time in the young team’s AVP career. Midway in the second set against Walsh Jennings/Ross, Bensend/Urango were up 15-13 and looked like they might push the top seeds to a third set before Walsh Jennings/Ross closed it out in an 8-1 run.
The AVP, entering its 33rd season, is the premiere American professional beach volleyball tour and exclusive U.S. beach volleyball home of the nation’s top male and female athletes, including those who have won gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympic Games.