Repost: By Ed Chan –
Sarah Pavan jumps into April Ross’ line spike/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
First, the best women’s team in the world cashed in, ensuring that their names will live in Manhattan Beach Open history in the form of plaques on the pier, as Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Parades beat April Ross and Alix Klineman in a match for the ages 28-26, 16-21, 16-14.
And then Sunday, the veteran, 41-year-old indoor Olympian Reid Priddy, and Trevor Crabb, who formed a new partnership for this event, not only won their first AVP titles, but also will be immortalized with plaques on the pier.
Fourth-seeded Priddy and Crabb — who earlier scored a huge upset in the semifinals — got past second-seeded Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson 21-15, 21-19.
Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes celebrate a point/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
They got an exemption to play, but Pavan and Humana-Parades were hardly the 11th seed. After all, this summer alone they’ve won three FIVB titles, including the gold medal at the FIVB World Championships in Vienna.
In the semifinals, top-seeded Ross and Klineman beat another new team, fourth-seeded Sara Hughes and Canadian Brandie Wilkerson 21-16, 19-21, 15-12. Humana-Parades and Pavan defeated the fifth-seeded team of Terese Cannon and Kelly Reeves 21-15, 21-16.
Reid Priddy runs down a cut shot/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
Crabb and Priddy stunned top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the semis 21-12, 23-21, and Budinger and Patterson had to go three to oust qualifier upstarts Eric Beranek and Billy Kolinske 21-11, 20-22, 15-11.
“Man, it was the most memorable tournament I’ve ever had,” Kolinske said. “To have Eric with me, battling it out from the qualifier, is incredible.
“The fans were amazing, and this is what I kind of pictured, waiting to come back, and it was more than I ever expected.
While Patterson is one of the more popular players on tour, the crowd was solidly behind the underdogs.
“I think people saw us over the week, saw us grinding through the qualifier, and we just kept fighting, we never gave up, we were on the brink of elimination many times, we just kept fighting,” Kolinske said.