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Pardon, Carico, Paullin Join Walsh, Branagh, Patterson, Dalhausser, Rosenthal, Jennings in MB Open Main Draw

Aug 15, 2014 12:35PM ● By DigMB Staff

Beach volleyball doesn't get much better than the Manhattan Beach Open, now in its 54th year.

As the AVP Manhattan Beach Open got underway Friday, local amateurs had the chance to play against more seasoned beach volleyball players, including defending 2013 MB Open champ and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings.

The first day of main draw competition took the sand south of the Manhattan Beach Pier after a day of qualifying matches for volleyball players attempting to make it into the prestigious tournament.

General admission to the tourney is free; paid seating is available.

MB local Jace Pardon and her Hermosa Beach partner Lara Dykstra, who took silver playing for the U.S. women’s beach volleyball team in June during the FIVB U23 World Championships in Myslowice, Poland, lost Friday morning to Ali Daley and Brittany Hochevar 17-21, 21-19, 15-12 during their first main draw match after tying things up 1-1 in a tough fought second game. They advanced through the qualifying matches Thursday to make the main draw, beating two teams.

Pardon and Dykstra play in the contender's bracket at 3:35 p.m. Friday on Court 7.

MB resident Clay Paullin and his partner Hawk Hatcher defeated two teams Thursday to advance to main draw competition. 

Other Manhattan Beach players who competed in Thursday's qualifiers included Presley Forbes, Lorna Brandt, Sunny Villapando, Peter Tourigny and Kevin Cleary. They did not advance to the main draw.

Six-time MB Open winner Walsh Jennings, who lives in the city with her husband Casey Jennings, who won the MB Open last year, and their three children, is playing with April Ross this year, though she won the tourney with Whitney Pavlik in 2013.

Walsh Jennings and Ross are the No. 1 seed in the women's bracket. The duo is on the sand as of 1:55 p.m. and continue play throughout the day.

MB's Lane Carico and her partner Kim DiCello play at 2:25 p.m. after winning their first match. 

Carico, who entered her first MB Open in 2006 at the age of 16, now returns after achieving the honor of AVP women’s rookie of the year in 2013, her first full season on the tour. Born and raised in Manhattan Beach, she is considered a leader in the "next generation" of beach volleyball’s top talent, finishing third in the first two tournaments of her sophomore campaign on the tour.

On the men's side, last year's champ, Jennings, is on the sand with Jeremy Casebeer. Matt Fuerbringer, his partner and 2013 MB Open champ, is not playing.

Paullin and Hatcher lost in their first match this morning, after qualifying main draw play Thursday. They play in the contender's bracket at 2:40 p.m on Court 4.

The MB Open, now In its 54th year, is the longest running beach volleyball tournament in the U.S., and one of the most popular in the world. Steeped in history, the sands of Manhattan Beach have long been seen as the breeding grounds for some of the world’s greatest players in the sport.

The winners of each bracket, men's and women's, are vying for a $75,000 purse and a plaque bearing their names installed on the "Walkf of Fame" on the MB Pier.

Presley Forbes and Lorna Brandt of Manhattan Beach are shown in this KCLA news report video about the Manhattan Beach Open.

Presley Forbes and Lorna Brandt of Manhattan Beach are shown in this KCLA news report video about the Manhattan Beach Open.

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