Cal Poly’s Torrey Van Winden and Emily Sonny earned the top women’s playoff seed while Robert Mullahey and Owen Yoshimoto, from Pepperdine, secured the top spot in the men’s bracket after pool play at the Bridgestone USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships on Thursday in Hermosa Beach, California.
Van Winden and Sonny defeated Cal Berkley’s Jessica Gaffney and Iya Lindahl, 21-13, 21-16, to open pool play and then beat Corinne Quiggle and Deahna Kraft, of Pepperdine, 21-17, 21-18. Quiggle won the bronze medal at last year’s Collegiate Beach Championships with a different partner, and she and Kraft competed at last week’s NCAA championships together. They will begin Friday’s single elimination playoffs seeded ninth.
Van Winden was the silver medalist at the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Open last July, the championship event for high performance athletes in the U21/U23 age groups. She also represented Team USA at the 2017 FIVB U21 Beach World Championships. Sonny competed at the Collegiate Beach Championships as a freshman last year.
Florida State’s Vanessa Freire and Tory Paranagua earned the No. 2 seed for the women, while Hailey Luke and Katie Horton, also from Florida State, are the No. 3 seed.
On the men’s side, Hawaii’s Brett Rosenmeier and Colton Cowell are the No. 2 seed. Will Bantle and Matt McLaren, of Penn State, are No. 3.
The women’s event featured 26 teams while the men had seven.
The event is part of the 2018 Team USA Summer Champions Series presented by Xfinity. The finals will be televised on NBCSN from 4-6 p.m. ET on Saturday and the winners will represent USAV at the 2018 FISU World University Championship in July in Munich, Germany.