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AVP winners continue streak

Men and women’s teams had already won the previous two tour stops.

May 08, 2008|By Mike Sciacca

They are No. 1 for a reason.

It wasn’t a surprise, really, the way the championship finals of the AVP Crocs Tour Huntington Beach Open turned out Saturday. The top-seeded men’s team of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser and the No. 1 women’s team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh had won the first two events of the 2008 Crocs Tour by claiming tournament titles in Miami and Dallas in April, and the teams were favored again to leave Surf City with tour victory No. 3.

Rogers and Dalhausser were the first to reach the winner’s podium at the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier by sweeping the No. 3-seeded team of Brad Keenan and John Hyden, 21-14, 22-20.

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May-Treanor and Walsh followed with a sweep of their own as they slipped past No. 3-seed Tyra Turner/Rachel Wacholder 21-17, 22-20.

Both finals had a local flavor to them: Keenan prepped at Fountain Valley High, May-Treanor at Newport Harbor High and Wacholder at Laguna Beach High.

Rogers and Dalhausser won a first-place check of $20,000, and Keenan and Hyden earned a split of $15,000 for second place.

“I thought we had them in that second game when we were up 19-17,” Hyden said. “Todd is the best offense player on tour and Phil is the best blocker. Combined, they’re extremely tough.”

But No. 1 wasn’t the top dog Sunday.

At the AVP Crocs Tour Cuervo Gold Crown Series tournament at the pier, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, and Elaine Youngs and Nicole Branagh became men’s and women’s champions, respectively, and claimed a $25,000 bonus that went with the title.

The Cuervo Gold Crown Series finale Sunday pitted the top four men’s and top four women’s teams based upon points earned at the first three events of the 2008 AVP Crocs Tour — Miami, Dallas and Huntington Beach — in a separate Final Four format.

Sunday’s one-day tournament determined the 2008 Cuervo Gold Crown champions.

Gibb and Rosenthal, seeded third in the tournament, defeated Keenan and Hyden, the No. 4-seed, 21-18, 21-16 in the men’s final.

“We’ve been in a lot of finals and not won, so it’s nice to get to that final and win it,” Gibb said.

On the women’s side, top-seed May-Treanor/Walsh had defeated No. 4-seed Annett Davis/Jenny Johnson Jordan 21-14, 21-12 in the semifinals but pulled out of the tournament when Walsh suffered a minor injury to her right shoulder.

With Walsh and May-Treanor no longer competing, the No. 2-seeded team of Elaine Youngs and Nicole Branagh was able to win the women’s Cuervo Gold Series title for a second-straight year by defeating No. 3-seed Turner and Wacholder in a suspenseful semifinal match, 25-23, 25-23.

With no true women’s final, Branagh/Youngs and Davis/Johnson Jordan played an exhibition match in which Youngs and Branagh prevailed, 15-21, 21-13, 17-15.


MIKE SCIACCA covers sports and features. He can be reached at (714) 966-4611 or by e-mail at michael.sciacca@latimes.com.

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