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AVP Manhattan Beach Open Brings Victories, Upsets

Aug 19, 2019 10:56AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The team of Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan celebrates victory at the 2019 AVP Manhattan Beach Open. Photo credit: Mpu Dinani/AVP

It was a weekend of stunning upsets and triumphant victories at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open this weekend, as 80,000 fans descended on Manhattan Beach to watch the high-level beach volleyball action.

Both sets of champions -  the men’s team of Reid Priddy/Trevor Crabb and the women’s team of Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes - were first-time winners of the hallowed tournament. The teams' names will be inscribed on plaques on the Manhattan Beach Pier to mark their victory. 

On the womens' side, the world champions and No. 11 AVP seeded Humana-Paredes (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) were matched against the No. 1 seeded and current No. 1 team in the world, Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach) and April Ross (Costa Mesa). Klineman, a local hometown hero, and Ross, came in to the match from a 30-game win streak. The Canadian duo won set one 28-26; while the second set went to Ross/Klineman at 21-16. The third set proved challenging for both teams and could have easily gone either way. In the end Pavan/Humana-Paredes won on their seventh match point 16-14. (Final Score: 28-26, 21-16, 16-14.)

“This is an iconic event and then to be able to join some of the greats on the pier is really humbling,” said Sarah Pavan.

An emotional Melissa Humana-Paredes added, “One of the things you hope as an athlete is to leave a legacy behind and I think we're doing that. There are no words." 

On the mens's side, Trevor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) and four-time Olympian and gold medal indoor Olympian, No. 4 Reid Priddy (Huntington Beach) faced off with the recent 2019 Hermosa Beach Open champions, the No. 2 ranked Olympian Casey Patterson (Thousand Oaks) and seven-year NBA veteran-turned AVP champion Chase Budinger (Hermosa Beach). Priddy and. Crabb won the first set at 21-15. In the second set, Priddy moved the game forward at an electric pace to take home the win at 21-19. Final Score: 21-15, 21-19.

“This a great day. We woke up and texted each other, we’re going to have our best day, we’re going to fight hard,” said Priddy, four-time Olympic indoor volleyball gold medalist who made his transition to beach volleyball in 2017.

Priddy and Crabb had defeated returning Manhattan Beach Open champions Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and Phil Dalhausser (Orlando, Florida) during the semi-finals.

In the largest upset of the tournament, the qualifying pair of No. 26 Eric Beranek (Redondo Beach) and Bill Kolinske (Redondo Beach) upset the No. 5 duo of Jeremy Casebeer (Santa Barbara) and Chaim Schalk (Alberta, Canada) to advance. The Beranek/Kolinske team became the lowest-seeded team to reach the semifinals since the 2006 Hermosa Beach Open. However, the upstart local duo lost to Patterson/Budinger in the semifinals.

The AVP Manhattan Beach Open tournament is the longest running continuous event in the sport, and is widely considered the "Wimbledon of beach volleyball." The tournament, which started as an amateur event and is now part of the professional volleyball players tour, is now in its 60th year.

Every August, the AVP Manhattan Beach Open takes over the beach area south of the Manhattan Beach Pier for a weekend filled with world-class volleyball and other related events. The winners' names are enshrined on plaques that line the Manhattan Beach Pier.

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