Champions Crowned on Final Day of U.S. Beach Open

Sept. 29, 2008, 1:26 a.m. (ET)

Media Contact: Tip Nunn
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2008) – Mike Morrison and Aaron Wachtfogel defeated Jon Mesko and Evan Engle twice Sunday to win the Men’s Open Division title at the 2008 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball, presented by Corona Extra, held this year at East Beach.

Morrison (Solana Beach, Calif.) and Wachtfogel (Redondo Beach, Calif.) posted a 21-10, 21-17 win over Mesko (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Engle (Dana Point, Calif.) in the Men’s Open final. Earlier in the afternoon, Morrison and Wachtfogel captured a 21-12, 21-11 win in the final of the winners’ bracket in the double elimination tournament.

“They are both real good players and we matched up against them very well,” Morrison said. “Aaron played some great defense and we were patient out there today.”

But in the end, the big blocks put up by Morrison were just too much for Mesko and Engle.

In the Women’s Open Division final, Kathryn Winkler (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Olivia Waldowski (Costa Mesa, Calif.) defeated the Santa Barbara, Calif. team of Daven Allison and Courtney Guerra, 21-16, 21-19, to take the title. Winkler, who was a runner-up with Tarin Keith at the 2007 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball, teamed with Waldowski, a former UCSB star, to take the winner’s bracket, ousting 2007 champions Pat Keller and Valinda Roche in the bracket final. The win set up the final match against Allison and Guerra, who had battled back through the contenders’ draw in the double elimination tournament.

After winning the first game of the final and with the second game knotted at 19-19, Winkler and Waldowski regrouped for one final surge to the championship. 

“I told Olivia we really needed to play smart in the final points,” Winkler said following the match. “We had a couple of opportunities we were able to take advantage of late in the second game and that helped us win. These girls were tough and they never gave up.”

In the Coed Open Division, Winkler picked up her second title of the day, pairing with Soren Schneider (Huntington Beach, Calif.) to defeat former Santa Barbara high school star David Fischer (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and his partner Katie Carter (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), 28-16

In other play Sunday, Lucas Wisniakowski (Houston) and Alexandra Wolak (New York, N.Y.) defeated Carter Dawson and Emily Houston, both from Dallas, to take the Coed A Division title. In the Coed B Division, the winners were Cameron and Aubrey Chestnut, both from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, who defeated Cori and Derek Gilman, both of Santa Maria, Calif.

Also on Sunday, Santa Barbara volleyball legend Bob Van Wagner was honored by tournament host Karch Kiraly for his long commitment to the growth and establishment of volleyball in Santa Barbara.

In addition to Corona Extra, other sponsors of this year’s U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball are Oakley, Spalding, Paul Mitchell and Jones Trading, who sponsored the Masters Divisions. The U.S. Beach Open is sanctioned by USA Volleyball.

For more information on the 2008 US Open of Beach Volleyball, presented by Corona Extra, please visit

2008 U. S. Open of Beach Volleyball, presented by Corona Extra
Results from Championships Matches in all divisions
East Beach in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Sept. 26-28, 2008

Men’s Open: Mike Morrison (Solana Beach, Calif.) and Aaron Wachtfogel (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) def. Jon Mesko (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Evan Engle (Dana Point, Calif.) 21-10, 21-17

Men’s AA: Trevor Jones (San Diego, Calif.) and Tomo Sakigawa (San Diego, Calif.) def. Brad Vallett (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Brad Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) 30-22

Men’s A: John Caroompas (Laguna Nigel, Calif.) and Taylor Sander (Norco, Calif.) def. Jordon Dyer (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Dillan Bennett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) 28-24

Men’s BB: Marcos Plovarcsik (San Louis Obispo, Calif.) and Scott Saley (Santa Barbara, Calif.) def. Cameron Sanchez (Dana Point, Calif.) and Paul Brinkman (Laguna Beach, Calif.) 28-16

Men’s B: Tigre Vega (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Billy Ames (Buellton, Calif.) def. Robbie McKnight and Travis Woldson 22-20

Women’s Open:  Kathryn Winkler (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Olivia Waldowski (Costa Mesa, Calif.) def. Daven Allison (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Courtney Guerra (Santa Barbara, Calif.) 21-16, 21-19

Women’s AA: Alyson Wightman (Ventura, Calif.) and Caitlin Adair (Ventura, Calif.) def. Lyndsi Johnson (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Jamie Hill (Los Angeles, Calif.) 23-21, 21-19

 Women’s A: Melanie Seibold (Green Bay, Wis.) and Krista Heath (Green Bay, Wis.) def. Megan Pura (Salinas, Calif.) and Christa Conom (Monte Sereno, Calif.) 28-15

Women’s B: Maren Mochizuki (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Thoi Vo (Santa Barbara, Calif.) def. Kalli Vassilas (New Orleans, La.) and Angela Minto (New Orleans, La.) 28-20

 Men’s Masters (37 and over): Marc Rodriguez (Pismo Beach, Calif.) and Adam Phillips (Santa Barbara, Calif.) def. Mitch Siemans (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) and Joe Erikat (San Louis Obispo, Calif.) 15-12

 Men’s Masters (45 and over): Dan LaFontaine (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Tom Witt (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

 Women’s Masters (37 and over): Ilga Celmins (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Jackie Campbell (Santa Barbara, Calif.) def. Debbie Webster (Dallas, Texas) and Tamara Jackson (Dallas, Texas) 21-14, 21-9

 Women’s Masters (45 and over): Therese Butler (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Margie Wiher (Irvine, Calif.) def. Julie Chan (San Diego, Calif.) and Diane Yoshida (San Diego, Calif.) 25-11

Coed Open:  Soren Schneider (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Kathryn Winkler (Huntington Beach, Calif.) def. David Fischer (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Katie Carter (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) 28-16

Coed A Division: Lucas Wisniakowski (Houston, Tex.) and Alexandra Wolak (New York, N.Y.) def. Carter Dawson (Dallas, Texas) and Emily Houston, (Dallas, Texas) 21-10

Coed B Division: Cameron Chestnut (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) and Aubrey Chestnut (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) def. Cori Gilman (Santa Maria, Calif.) and Derek Gilman (Santa Maria, Calif.) 28-18