Branagh/Youngs, Gibb/Rosenthal Win at 53rd
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (July 19, 2009) – Beijing Olympians Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs won the AVP Crocs Slam Bud Light Manhattan Beach Open Sunday.
Reigning Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers were foiled in their attempt to become the first team in nearly 25 years to win four straight Manhattan Beach titles. They lost in the semifinals to Matt Olson and Kevin Wong.
Branagh/Youngs beat third-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan, 21-17, 21-14, to win the title. The win was Branagh and Youngs’ first as a team in Manhattan and sixth in the eight events they’ve played this year. The pair didn’t drop a game all weekend, and they gave up just 15.5 points per game over seven matches.
“I would say that in our sport, the Olympics and Manhattan Beach are the biggest wins,” Youngs said. “Getting a gold medal or your name on the pier is the highest you can go.”
“Everyone wants to win in Manhattan Beach,” said Branagh, a first-time Manhattan Beach Open winner. “I’m so honored to have my name on the pier.”
Third seeds and Beijing Olympians Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal won the men’s title, 21-17, 23-21, over Olson and Wong, the fifth seed. It was Gibb and Rosenthal’s first Manhattan title as a team, although Gibb won in 2005 with Stein Metzger.
“This was the biggest win of our partnership, and my career, hands down,” Gibb said. “To have my name with his on the pier forever is amazing.”
“It’s so tough to win this tournament and everyone wants it,” Rosenthal, another first-time Manhattan Beach champion, said. “Jake and I played great today, and it’s great to celebrate with him.”
The AVP Crocs Slam Bud Light Manhattan Beach Open, as the world’s oldest continuous beach volleyball tournament, is the most sought-after title on Tour, and the 64-team main draw in this year’s event was the biggest ever on the AVP. Both men’s and women’s finals will be broadcast nationally on VERSUS Monday, July 27 at 7 p.m.
The AVP Crocs Tour continues August 6-9 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. For more information about the AVP, please visit www.avp.com.
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About AVP, Inc.:
AVP, Inc. is a leading lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on the production, marketing and distribution of professional beach volleyball events worldwide. One of the fastest growing entities in the sports world, the AVP operates two of the industry’s most prominent national outdoor touring series, the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour (1983) and the AVP Hot Winter Nights Indoor Tour (launched in 2008). The AVP is set to stage more than 35 events throughout the United States in 2009 and features more than 150 of the top men and women competitors in the sport. AVP athletes won both the women’s and men’s gold medals at the 2008 Games in Beijing, marking the first gold medal sweep by a single country in the history of Olympic Beach Volleyball. AVP is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. For more information, please visit www.avp.com.
2008 gold medalists Dalhausser/Rogers finish third
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