The top-seeded team outlasts third-seeded Summer Ross and Lane Carico. Three-time Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor teamed with Brittany Hochevar for third. Ryan Doherty and John Mayer won the men’s title.
ISSAQUAH — It took a lot of power, but April Ross and Jennifer Fopma managed enough booming shots to win the $150,000 AVP Seattle Open championship on Sunday.
“We’ll be sore tomorrow, but we knew that was what it was going to take,” said Ross of defeating youngsters Summer Ross (no relation) and Lane Carico in three sets in the beach volleyball tournament at Lake Sammamish State Park, 21-18, 15-21, 15-13.
Carico and Summer Ross capitalized on any soft shots to tie the score, 7-7, in the third set. Fopma and April Ross, the top seed, went on a 4-0 run but their opponents, seeded third, hung in.
April Ross had a crafty kill that cut across the net for match point.
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“April is one of the easiest people to play with because she communicates so well and can do every aspect of the game really well,” said Fopma of the Olympic silver medalist. “We believed in what we were doing and tried to out work everybody.”
Lack of training caught up to Misty May-Treanor and Brittany Hochevar in the semifinals Sunday. The duo only had two practices before the tournament, May-Treanor playing competitively for the first time since the 2012 Olympics as a favor for Hochevar.
They were swept 21-12, 21-13 by Ross and Carico. May-Treanor’s best highlight was converting a dig into a point after a heckler shouted, “Not today!” at the retired three-time Olympic gold medalist.
“Lane played great defense and they were very consistent,” said May-Treanor. “We would have liked to have pushed more, but I’m happy with the way we finished.”
May-Treanor and Hochevar tied for third place with Kim DiCello and Kendra Van Zwieten. Both teams won $7,000 in prize money. April Ross and Fopma will split the $15,000 winner’s pay. Summer Ross and Carico took home $10,000.
On the men’s side, Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson’s streak of five consecutive AVP tour wins was snapped in the semifinals. Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena upset the top seed, 21-15, 21-15.
The winners went on to lose in three sets (20-22, 21-17, 15-13) to Ryan Doherty and John Mayer, who were ranked fourth in the tournament. It’s the 7-foot-1 Doherty’s first AVP title. He split $15,000 with Mayer, a three-time winner.
Dalhausser and Lucena were among the more intriguing teams to watch during the weekend’s double-elimination tournament. They reunited in July after 10 years apart in hopes of qualifying for their first Olympics.
“That’s going to be one of the best defensive teams in the world,” Doherty said of Dalhausser and Lucena. “But Johnny was siding out great, which is a testament to how good he really is.”
The AVP tour moves to Manhattan Beach, Calif., next weekend. The Seattle Open stop was the first for the men’s bracket in 25 years and a debut for the women.
It was a standing-room only crowd for the championship matches. Owner Donald Sun is working to make this an annual event on the shoreline of Lake Sammamish to complete a seven-city schedule that hits the four corners of the country.
“We had all of these contingency plans for the rain because in my mind it rains every day here whether it’s August or December,” said Sun, who revived the AVP tour in 2012 after it folded in 2010. “For a first time for me (operating the tour), this was really special.”