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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 22, 2012) – Although many beach volleyball teams were celebrating the end of summer and their seasons on Saturday at the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series National Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif., some were still looking forward to another event.
The NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour will be at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., on Sept. 28-30 and several U.S. teams competing in Huntington will be there.
The team of Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) lost their first match of the day on Saturday to Olaya Pazo Pérez (Caracas, Venezuela) and Kendra VanZwieten, 21-16, 29-27. They team came back in consolation to win two matches before falling to Christal Engle (Puyallup, Wash.) and Tealle Hunkus (Girard, Ohio), 21-17, 21-15.
Day and Hughes are hoping for a positive result to end their season as a team in Chula Vista. The players will both be competing at the FIVB World Tour event on Oct. 23-28 in Thailand with different partners.
“I think we’ve done all right this season,” Day said. “We always are striving for bigger and better. We fight hard every match.”
Day had her best result of the season competing with Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) at the World University Championships on Sept. 12-16 in Maceio, Brazil where the pair won the gold medal.
“It was awesome. It is so fun to play international and to be there representing the USA is an amazing feeling,” Day said. “You have a team atmosphere with the other U.S. teams there. You watch them and they watch you.”
Summer Ross is also scheduled to compete in Chula Vista with Morgan Beck (Coto de Caza, Calif.). Ross and Geena Urango (Los Alamitos, Calif.) tried to qualify for Huntington Beach on Friday, but lost in the second round of the qualifying bracket.
On the men’s side, Huntington Beach marked the return of the pairing of Jeff Carlson (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.). The pair won the silver medal at the 2008 FIVB youth world championship and also has played together on the men’s volleyball team at the University of Southern California.
Although pair had only practiced together for three weeks this summer, Carlson didn’t find it hard to get back with his partner.
“It hasn’t been too hard. He’s always been a beach player,” Carlson said of Ciarelli. “His transition hasn’t been too bad.”
Carlson was looking forward to a rest before the Chula Vista competition as he and Ciarelli had won three matches on Friday to qualify for the Huntington Beach main draw, and then played three more on Saturday.
After losing their first match on Saturday to Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 21-16, 21-15, Carlson and Ciarelli came back to win their first consolation match before falling to John Hyden (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) and Sean Scott (Kailua, Hawaii), 21-16, 21-18.
Carlson was looking forward to facing some new competition in Chula Vista.
“It’s good to see different guys out here because you see the same guys every week,” Carlson said. “(Playing more internationally) is definitely our goal.”
Play will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday at the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series National Championships with the finals of the consolation bracket.
On the men’s side, Fuerbringer and Lucena will play Hyden and Scott to see who will play Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) in the semifinals.
Also in the consolation bracket, Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) will play Stein Metzger (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Mark Williams (Sydney, Australia) to see who will play Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) in the other semifinal.
In the women’s consolation final, Brooke Niles (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) will play Engle and Hunkus to advance to the semifinal against Jenny Kropp (Holly Glen, Calif.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.).
On the other side of the bracket, Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Rachel Scott (Laguna Beach, Calif.) will face Angie Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brittany Hochevar (Fowler, Colo.) for the chance to play Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower) and Brooke Sweat (Hermosa Beach) in the other semifinal.