If you think the summer’s hot wherever you live, try going outside and playing in a 2-day, 32-team tournament. The killer one-two punch of heat and humidity took down 3rd-place men’s finisher Aaron Wachtfogel (in the picture) with full body muscle cramps.
Suddenly professional beach volleyball doesn’t sound like the beer-drenched bikini-fest it’s sometimes made out to be; it turns out it’s actually really hard work.
But despite the heat and humidity Jennifer Kessy and April Ross took home their second consecutive women’s title for 2010 by defeating Misty May-Traenor and Nicole Branagh 21-15, 18-21, 15-12. The second-seeded team of Kessy/Ross also beat the top seeded May-Traenor/Branagh team in Huntington Beach two weeks ago.
And during the absence of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, the number two seed of Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena won their first men’s title as a team, defeating the first seeded team of John Hyden/Sean Scott 21-17, 21-19.
If you want a fantastic, in-depth review of the whole weekend, Hans Stolfus is the guy to give it to you. I particularly love his analysis of the Kessy/Ross communication strategy. Non-volleyball fanatics may not want to peruse that article, as it’s very meticulous and may bore you if you’re not into extreme volleyball detail.
Elsewhere in the world, Phil and Todd lost (gasp!) to fellow Americans Gibb/Rosenthal in the second round of opening day, forcing them to battle back from the contender’s bracket. They did so in typical Rogers/Dalhausser fashion, crushing top-10 teams from Germany, Spain and Brazil to win the FIVB tournament.
Next weekend features the final stop on the East coast leg of the AVP tour, this time in Belmar, New Jersey. There are four top-notch women’s teams still fighting for the win (May-Traenor/Branagh; Akers/Turner; Scott/Young; and of course Kessy/Ross), and, although it sounds kind of sad to say it, with the return of Rogers and Dalhausser to the States, the rest of the men’s side will be fighting it out for second place.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.