Winning Manhattan Beach Twice is Nice
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
@USA_Volleyball - @USAVBeach - USAV Facebook
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 26, 2012) – The scores were different, but the winners stayed the same for a second year at the Manhattan Beach Open as both the 2011 men’s and women’s champions repeated on Sunday.
On the women’s side, No. 1 seeded Jenny Kropp (Grand Island, Neb.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) took their second straight Manhattan Beach title, defeating No 3 Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.) in Sunday’s final, 21-17, 21-16.
The victory was also Kropp and Pavlik’s fifth on the 2012 Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series
In the men’s final on Sunday, No. 3 John Hyden (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) and Sean Scott (Kailua, Hawaii) defeated No. 8 Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), 21-13, 21-17.
The victory was Hyden and Scott’s fourth on the Jose Cuervo Series this year.
“We wanted to come out and make a statement that even though we’re older and some of those guys haven’t been around for a while, we’re still the team to beat,” Hyden said. “We came out trying to serve tough and get guys off their game by having them pass badly and it worked for us.”
Hyden and Scott only played one three-set match in the tournament, defeating No. 2 Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Calif.) in Sunday’s fourth round, 21-15, 22-24, 15-11. In the semifinals, Hyden and Scott topped No. 5 Billy Allen (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Matt Prosser (Ventura, Calif.), 21-19, 21-19.
“This one’s a lot sweeter for me,” Scott said. “To be able to come back this year with the FIVB teams here and be able to do it again in front of friends and family and prove that last year wasn’t a fluke. We’re a good team and we’re going to come at you when you step on the court.”
In the final match, Hyden and Scott led in kills (22-19), blocks (6-3) and aces (6-0). Hyden and Scott each had 11 attacks and three aces while Scott had all six blocks. Doherty had all three of his team’s blocks while Patterson led in kills with 12.
In the women’s final match, Kropp and Pavlik led in kills (24-18) and blocks (4-0). The teams tied in aces (3-3). Kropp and Pavlik each scored on 12 kills while Kropp had all four blocks and Pavlik had all three aces. Sweat led her team with 13 attacks and two aces.
“I think today, all three games, we definitely came out hard and strong and we played the best that we’ve ever played,” Pavlik said.
Kropp and Pavlik did not drop a set in the tournament. On Sunday they defeated No. 4 Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Rachel Scott (Laguna Beach, Calif.) in the fourth round, 21-15, 21-16 before beating No. 7 Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) in the semifinals, 21-16, 21-11.
“That was one of our focuses,” Kropp said of the two-set victories. “Because we’ve been winning, but in three every game and it wears you out. We had to come up with a plan with our coach, Barb Fontana, to really focus and decide to be mentally tough and win in two. It was something we mentally worked on.”
The Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Series will resume Sept. 21-23 at the Huntington Beach National Championships.
View complet results on the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series web site.