Favorites, including Gibb and Patterson, rule the day at Pro Beach Volleyball
Michelle Tessier, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Although excitement abounded on the sand courts at Liberty Park Friday in the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Salt Lake City Open, there were few upsets as most of the better-seeded teams advanced to the second round.
Local favorites Jake Gibb (Bountiful) and Casey Patterson (BYU), the No. 2 seeded men’s team, had little problem in their opening match, defeating Billy Kolinske and Adam Roberts 21-13. The No. 1 seeded team of Tri Bourne and John Hyden also cruised in their first match, beating Jason Lochhead-Russ Marchewka 21-17, 21-13.
On the women’s side, top-seeded Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross defeated Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen 21-14, 21-13, while No. 2 seeds Lauren Fredrick and Brooke Sweat had a tough match against Caitlin Ledoux and Irene Pollock, winning 21-11, 20-22, 15-10.
The win by Gibb and Patterson set up a match against their good friends and training partners Jeremy Casebeer and Casey Jennings, another former BYU volleyball player, Saturday at 10:05 on the stadium court.
“It’ll be exciting, playing another BYU kid,’’ said Gibb of meeting up with Jennings. “We’ll have three ties to Utah in the next match, which is really cool. We train with him — he’s one of our buddies and one of our close friends. But when we’re on the court, I hate the guy. It’ll be awesome.’’
Jennings, the husband of Kerri Walsh Jennings, gave it right back when asked about the matchup.
“We’re not friends tomorrow,’’ he said. “We’re going to beat them down and then they’re going to have to work their way through the loser’s bracket to get to us in the finals. So I’m looking forward to playing them — it’s always a competitive game.’’
Gibb and Patterson had no problem in their first match, the last one of the day on the stadium court in front of a supportive crowd.
They stayed ahead by four or five points throughout the first set before running off three straight for a 21-13 win. In the second set, they ran off six straight points and took a comfortable 13-6 lead and cruised home.
“It’s important to not only win the match but to get momentum,’’ Gibb said. “We got some really good support here, I’m stoked about it.’’
The closest men’s match was in the 8 vs. 9 game as Pedro Brazao-Steve Grotowski edged Matt Prosser-Ty Tramblie 21-18, 11-21, 16-14.
Other winners were Brad Keenan-John Mayer (3), Ryan Doherty-Nick Lucena (4), Theo Brunner-Todd Rogers (5) and Adrian Carambula-Stafford Slick (6).
In the women’s bracket, there were some upsets as No. 13-seeds Emily Stockman-Traci Weamer defeated Lane Carico-Kim DiCello 21-16, 21-18, No. 12-seeds Kendra Van Zwieten-Megan Wallin-Brockway knocked off Ali Daley-Brittany Hochevar 21-10, 21-17 and No. 10 seeds Olaya Pazo-Sheila Shaw beat Sarah Day-Christal Engle 24-22, 21-13.
Other winners included Emily Day-Summer Ross (3) and Heather Hughes-Whitney Pavlik (6) and Nicole Branaugh-Amanda Dowdy (9).
Play gets underway Saturday at 9 a.m., and matches will be played all day at Liberty Park with the final match going off at 4:45 p.m.
The finals will be Sunday at 1:30 p.m. for the women and 3 p.m. for the men.
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