CHULA VISTA, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2012) – Two U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams will play each other in the semifinals of the 2012 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit event at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
The USA3 men’s team of Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii) will face the USA5 team of Avery Drost (Hawthorne, Calif.) and Jesse Rambis (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) in the semifinals set to begin at 9 a.m. PT at the Olympic Training Center.
The winner will play the winner of the other semifinal between the Canada1 team of Chaim Schalk and Benjamin Saxton and their compatriots Cameron Wheelan and Michael Plantinga of Canada2. The losers will play for the bronze medal at 11 a.m. PT while the gold medal match is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT.
There were plenty of battles played out on Saturday, with the final match finishing by the light of the moon.
In that match, Drost and Rambis defeated Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen 2-1 (26-24, 13-21, 29-27) in 1 hour, 5 minutes, completing an amazing comeback from a disappointing day on Friday.
“I’ve had so many battles with Juan Virgen that it was fun to win that one,” Drost said. “I really respect that guy a lot.”
Drost and Rambis went 0-2 in pool play on Friday and thought Saturday’s final pool play match would be their last of the tournament.
The duo won their final pool play match on Saturday, beating Marcelo Araya and Jonathan Guevara of Costa Rica, 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) to finish third in the pool. They thought their tournament was over.
But they were surprised to find out they would advance in the winners’ bracket.
In the next round, they defeated the USA4 team of Adam Cabbage (Rio Rancho, N.M.) and Parker Kalmbach (Newport Beach, Calif.), 2-1 (16-21, 25-23, 15-13) to advance to the quarterfinals against Mexico.
“We got such a huge lift when we found out we could keep playing,” Drost said. “We took that momentum and won a three-set match against Parker and Adam, who are playing really well.
“Sometimes when you win (three-set matches), it just gives you that feeling that you can’t lose. That’s how we felt against Mexico, even though we were up against it so many times.”
The USA3 team of Montgomery and Bourne had a much easier path to the semifinals.
They finished pool play undefeated at 3-0 with a 21-5, 21-6 win in their third match Saturday over Turks & Caicos. The team advanced straight to the quarterfinals where the U.S. duo beat Guatemala’s Andy Leonardo and Erick Garrido 2-0 to advance.
The other U.S. men’s teams competing in Chula Vista finished their tournaments on Saturday.
The USA2 team of Jeff Carlson (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) won their pool with a 3-0 record after defeating compatriots Alex Jones (Northridge, Calif.) and Kyle Stevenson (Santa Monica, Calif.) of USA1, 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) in their final pool play match Saturday.
Carlson and Ciarelli advanced straight to the quarterfinals, where they fell to Wheelan and Plantiga, 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-11). Jones and Stevenson were eliminated in a loss to Guatemala, 2-1 (21-17, 7-21, 15-9).
Cabbage and Kalmbach finished second in their pool with a 2-1 record after beating the U.S. Virgin Islands team of Marc Lomeli and Anthony Pippen, 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) on Saturday. But they were eliminated in the first round by Drost and Rambis.
About the photo: Mexico's Juan Virgen hits against the block of Avery Drost by the light of the moon over Chula Vista. Photo courtesy of Ed Chan
Pool A: CAN1 d ESA 2-0 (21-14, 21-17), USA4 d ISV 2-0 (21-16, 21-15); Pool B: USA5 d CRC 2-0 (21-16, 21-18), MEX d DOM 2-0 (21-16, 21-15); Pool C: USA3 d TCI 2-0 (21-5, 21-6), GUA d LCA 2-0 (21-17, 21-19); Pool D: CAN2 d TRI 2-0 (21-11, 21-16), USA2 d USA1 2-0 (21-19, 21-14)
Play-out matches: CRC d TCI 2-0 (21-12, 21-16), ISV d TRI 2-0 (21-10, 21-19) Round 1: DOM d ESA 2-0 (26-24, 21-12), CAN2 d LCA 2-1 (24-26, 21-14, 25-11), GUA d USA1 2-1 (21-17, 7-21, 15-9), USA5 d USA4 2-1 (16-21, 25-23, 15-13) Quarterfinals: CAN1 d DOM 2-0 (21-8, 21-16), CAN2 d USA2 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-11), USA3 d GUA 2-0 (21-14, 21-15), USA5 d MEX 2-1 (26-24, 13-21, 29-27)