Business as usual in Long Beach: Phil Dalhausser claims 100th title
It was the same teams as last week, sometimes even the same brackets as in the first edition of the AVP Champions Cup Series. You might wanna blame the format of the series but in the end it goes deeper. The entire competition did also say a lot about the current state of men’s beach volleyball in the United States. Three players in the final were above 40 years old. The youngsters are not yet ready to take over.
In a rematch of last weekend’s final, top seeds Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena beat number-two seeds Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb in straight sets. Both sets showed a total domination of Phil Dalhausser who won his 100th title (21:9, 21:15). Only in the semifinal, Dalhausser/Lucena had a tough run to finally eliminate Theo Brunner and Casey Patterson in three sets (21:23, 21:12, 15:13). In many rallies a Phil Dalhausser serving and successfully blocking didn’t even let his partner Nick Lucena get a hand on the ball. Nick after the final:
“Service pressure was good. Phil did a great job serving and blocking. Casey played well in the semi but I am so used to Phil scoring points.”
The women’s competition saw an evergreen final between A-Team Alix Klineman and April Ross and Canadian world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes. After the A-Team had an easy run in the first set, the Candians stepped up their game but couldn’t stop the A-Team from claiming back-to-back AVP Champions Cup titles (21:15, 21:19). A week ago, Klineman and Ross had won the first edition of the AVP Champions Cup Series at the exact same spot. April Ross:
“It’s awesome to have the Canadians here. Playing them could be a final at any big international event.”
In the semifinal, the Canadian world champs had eliminated last Sunday’s finalists Sara Hughes and beach volleyball gypsy Brandie Wilkerson (24:22, 21:19). Brandie who holds both American and Canadian citizenship showed a strong blocking performance with numerous stuffed blocks throughout the tournament.