Youth and age were both served as the 2017 AVP season came to a close at The Championships on Chicago’s Oak Street Beach.
Sara Hughes, 22, and Kelly Claes, 21, closed out their first AVP season with their first tour win and became the youngest team to ever win on the AVP. The former University of Southern California teammates earned the win with a straight-set victory over 2016 Olympian Brooke Sweat Summer Ross by scores of 21-17, 21-18, punctuated by a match-winning kill from Hughes.
In the men’s tournament, 44-year-old John Hyden, a two-time Olympian in indoor volleyball, teamed with Ryan Doherty to defeat Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, who last weekend won the FIVB World Tour Finals in Germany, in straight sets. Hyden passed Karch Kiraly as the oldest man to win on the tour.
Hughes and Claes won every match in straight sets to claim their first AVP win after both graduated from USC earlier this year. The pair served notice last year when they won the gold medal at the 2016 World University Games.
Doherty and Hyden won 21-19, 21-19 in the final and had to fend off the relentless kills of Dalhausser (13 kills) to notch the victory.
Doherty and Hyden earned their first medal as partners on FIVB World Tour in July’s Olsztyn 4-Star tournament.
Hyden had 11 kills and eight digs to offset the 6-foot-9 Dalhausser’s effort.
The 7-foot-1 Doherty, a former professional baseball player in the Arizona Diamondbacks system, notched nine kills and seven blocks.
Both winning teams picked up the top prize of $22,000.