U.S. Beach Teams Miss Huntington Podium

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | May 05, 2018, 11 p.m. (ET)
Brooke Sweat attacks against Brazil
Brooke Sweat attacks against the block of Kelly Reeves.

 

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (May 5, 2018) – This was not the way Brooke Sweat wanted to end her season.

The 2016 Olympian had high hopes for the FIVB Huntington Beach Open, sponsored by the AVP. She had reunited with her Olympic partner, Lauren Fendrick and the pair had enough ranking points to make them the tournament’s top seeds.

They sailed through their first two matches, beating Claudia and Andrea Galindo of Colombia in the second round (21-12, 21-13) and Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch of Germany in the third (27-25, 21-19).

But in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Sweat and Fendrick ran into the U.S. team of Sara Hughes and Summer Ross and fell, 21-13, 22-20.

The tournament’s double-elimination format meant they still had a chance, but they lost to Canada’s Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson, 21-19, 21-14.

“This was a crappy way to end,” Sweat said. “We shouldn’t have lost that first set (to Canada) and if we win that, who knows what happens?

“I am proud of how we fought through the tournament. I definitely know we could have done better, so it hurts right now. I was just excited to get out here and play one more time. Because my season is finished.”

Sweat is having surgery on her rotator cuff on Monday, which leaves Fendrick, who was playing with a spiral fracture in her pinky, looking for a new partner.

“It was really fun being back on the court with Brooke,” Fendrick said. “I love playing with her and getting back on the court and it was fun being in front of a home crowd and family and friends.

“Now I have to figure out another partner for the season. Hopefully this one will be long-term. This one will stick.”

Fendrick and Sweat were not the only U.S. beach team to be disappointed at the end of Saturday. In fact, no U.S. beach teams will be playing in the semifinals and finals on Sunday. 

After upsetting Fendrick and Sweat, ninth-seeded Hughes and Ross lost to Brazil’s fifth-seeded Fernanda and Barbara (18-1, 21-19, 15-11) and then to Germany’s No. 3 Chantel Laboureur and Julia Sude (21-16, 21-18).

John Hyden and Theo Brunner also finished fifth, was the best placing for a U.S. men’s team. The pair went into the tournament ranked 14th. They upset Austria’s Clemen’s Doppler and Alexander Horst in the third round, 21-13, 21-16. They beat Italy’s Enrico Rossi and Marco Caminati in the fourth round, 21-18, 21-19.

But their winning streak was ended by Brazil’s No. 2 Andre Loyola and Evandro Goncalves Oliviera in the fifth round, 27-25, 21-17. In consolation, they fell to Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, 21-10, 21-17.

Among other notable U.S. beach teams:

Top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena finished ninth after losing to Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins in the fourth round (24-22, 21-18) and to Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgar Tocs in their consolation match (21-19, 21-18).

The U.S. men’s teams of Jeremy Casebeer/Reid Priddy, Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick, Trevor Crabb/John Mayer and Miles Evans/Bill Kolinske all finished tied for 17th.

The U.S. men’s teams of Billy Allen/Ryan Doherty, Taylor Crabbl/Jake Gibb, Spencer Sauter/Adam Roberts and Eric Zaun/Ed Ratledge all finished tied for 25th.

The U.S. women’s teams of Alix Klineman/April Ross, Kelly Reeves/Brittany Howard and Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen all finished tied for ninth.

Lane Carico/Caitlin Ledoux placed 13th.

Brittany Hochevar/Kelly Claes and Kendra VanZwieten/Jenny Kropp tied for 17th.

Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock, Betsi Flint/Emily Day, Briana Hinga/Breanna Moreland, Katie Jameson/Tracy Jones, McKenna (Witt) Thibodeau/Madison Witt and Geena Urango/Ali McColloch tied for 25th.

For full results, go to the FIVB web site.

OTHER U.S. FIVB BEACH RESULTS

In a three-star event in Mersin, Turkey, Jace Pardon/Brittany Tiegs tied for 17th.

In a one-star tournament in Manila, Philippines, Lindsey Fuller/Kaley Melville tied for fifth.