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Kerri Walsh Jennings & April Ross, Jake Gibb & Casey Patterson at AVP Huntington Beach Open
Olympians, Both Teams Have Won Previous Huntington Beach Titles
By: AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals)
Walsh Jennings, a three time Olympic gold medalist, and Ross, an Olympic silver medalist, served notice that they are hitting on all cylinders in the run up to the Rio Olympics with the 21-13, 21-16 victory over Bensend/Urango in a match broadcast live on NBCSN. Gibb/Patterson followed suit with a 21-19, 23-21 win with each team going on impressive runs.
The Walsh Jennings/Ross duo outscored opponents 210-116 (giving up an average of only 11.6 points per set) over their five-game stint in Huntington Beach. With the win, their 46th in a row on the tour, Walsh Jennings/Ross notched their 10th AVP title together and their second at Huntington Beach (2013). The pair boasts a 54-1 match record on the AVP, 49 of which coming in sweeps. Walsh Jennings now has seven Huntington Beach titles with three different partners.
Fifth-seeded Bensend/Urango finished second for the second time this season and the third time in the young team's AVP career. Midway in the second set against Walsh Jennings/Ross, Bensend/Urango were actually up 15-13 and looked like they might push the top seeds to a third set before Walsh Jennings/Ross closed it out in an 8-1 run. Earlier in the morning Bensend/Urango trailed # 6 seeds Lane Carico & Summer Ross in the semis before nailing nine straight points to launch them to an impressive 25-23, 21-16 win and the finals berth.
The men's final offered a stark contrast in competitors with Gibb/Patterson, winners of 10 of 13 previous AVP title matches, facing #4 Crabb/Crabb, a team playing in its seventh AVP outing overall and very first AVP final after going 0-3 in previous semi-final contests. Both teams played scintillating offense and defense with impossibly long extended rallies punctuating play. Experience won out however, as Gibb/Patterson came from behind to win the first set on a Crabb service error and then secured the second set in overtime despite being down 16-14 earlier in the set.
Full results at http://www.avp.com.