Youngs/Branagh Win Seventh Victory in 2009 at AVP Crocs Slam Bud Light Hermosa Beach Open presented by Virgin America; Walsh/Wacholder Finish Fifth in Return to Tour
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (August 8, 2009) – Elaine Youngs and Nicole Branagh captured the women’s title Saturday at the AVP Crocs Slam Bud Light Hermosa Beach Open presented by Virgin America, securing their seventh victory in 10 tournaments this season on the professional beach volleyball tour.
Youngs and Branagh, the top-seeded team, beat second-seeded Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, 19-21, 23-21, 15-11 in the final to win their second straight tournament. Kessy and Ross are the recently crowned world champions.
“Winning in Manhattan was a huge deal, and also Hermosa,” Branagh said. “This is where we train, so this is our home beach. Huntington, Manhattan and Hermosa – we won all three of those events, and I’m elated.”
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh and partner Rachel Wacholder finished tied for fifth, both playing in their first tournament this year after sitting out most of the season to start families.
The top-seeded men’s team of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers moved on unscathed into the semifinals. After winning twice Friday, Dalhausser and Rogers beat eighth-seeded Ty Loomis and Casey Patterson, 21-17, 21-14 on Saturday morning. They toppled fourth-seeded Matt Olson and Kevin Wong, 21-19, 21-14 to advance to the semis. Dalhassuer and Rogers have won four times on tour this season and are aiming for an unprecedented fourth straight Hermosa Beach Open title.
The men’s semifinals will be broadcast live Sunday on Universal Sports at 10:30 a.m. PDT, while the men’s final will be broadcast live on NBC Sports at 1:30 p.m. PDT.
Walsh’s fifth-place finish in the women’s draw marked the first time in 80 career AVP events that she hadn’t advanced to the semifinals. Walsh’s regular partner, Misty May-Treanor, with whom she’s partnered to win 99 events and two gold medals, is taking the entire 2009 season off from competition after suffering an Achilles’ tendon injury participating on the TV show “Dancing With the Stars.”
The AVP Crocs Slam Bud Light Hermosa Beach Open presented by Virgin America is taking place on the north side of the Hermosa Beach Pier in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
For more information on the AVP Crocs Tour, please visit www.avp.com.
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.
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