Three-time Olympian Jake Gibb still has the defensive moves.
Gibb rose above the net at a key time Sunday and finished off an AVP championship for himself and beach volleyball partner Taylor Crabb. They defeated Tim Bomgren and Chaim Schalk in the men’s final of the AVP Championships in Chicago in a clean sweep, 21-14, 21-17. It was their second AVP tournament win this year and their fourth in two years.
“That’s a huge win,” Gibb said in a broadcast interview following the match. “I’m so excited.”
This is the second season together for Gibb and Crabb, who are 16 years apart in age.
Gibb had seven blocks in the match. Crabb had a match-best 14 kills, and Gibb added 13 kills.
Schalk also had 13 kills.
The win qualified Gibb, 42, and Crabb, 26, for the AVP Hawaii Invitational, which will be held Sept. 14-16 in Waikiki. Three-time Olympian Phil Dalhausser and 2016 Olympian Nick Lucena are also headed for Hawaii.
Gibb and Crabb powered to a 21-14 win in the opening set as Crabb had 10 kills and Gibb had 8 kills. Gibb finished off the set with a powerful spike.
Bomgren and Schalk had a strong run to the final, defeating top-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena, and third-seeded Jeremy Casebeer and four-time indoor volleyball Olympian Reid Priddy on the way to the championship match. Dalhausser and Lucena have won three AVP tournaments this year.
Gibb and Crabb fought their way back into the championship after losing to Casebeer and Priddy in three sets. They defeated fourth-seeded Ed Ratledge and Robert Rodriguez in three sets, 25-27, 22-20, 15-5, to advance to the final.
Gibb last won the AVP Championships in 2014 with two-time Olympic partner Casey Patterson.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.