One team got their game back on, the other skillfully executed their game plan.
In each instance, the 2011 Manhattan Beach Open winners came in first again, earning yet another plaque on the Volleyball Walk of Fame on the MB Pier.
“This is the most amazing feeling to have our name on the pier a second time," said Whitney Pavlik of Laguna Beach who won the women's division with her partner Jenny Kropp of nearby Hollyglen. "It couldn’t be better. It hasn’t set in. I can’t even describe it, but we do feel the energy of our fans and to look up and see the stands filled with loud cheers, we can’t help but be fired up too.”
Pavlik and Kropp defeated Jennifer Fopma and current partner Brooke Sweat in two sets, 21-17 and 21-16.
John Hyden of Sherman Oaks and Sean Scott of Redondo Beach, seeded No. 3 this year, swept the men's final against 7’1 Ryan Doherty and Casey Patterson in two sets, 21-13 and 21-17.
“We knew that by serving hard, we could lock in some easy points," said Scott. "Ryan is an amazing player for being as new as he is to the game. It’s very impressive.”
Patterson and Doherty defeated No. 2 seed Nick Lucena and Matt Fuerbringer, of Hermosa Beach, a duo that nearly made the USA volleyball squad for the 2012 London Olympics but were beaten out by Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal, in the semi-finals Sunday.
Surprisingly enough, 2012 London Olympians Gibb of Costa Mesa and Rosenthal of Redondo Beach, the No. 1 seed, lost a game on Saturday that put them in the consolation bracket and then lost Sunday in the quarterfinals to Billy Allen and Matt Prosser, the No. 5 seed.
“This back-to-back victory is even sweeter than the first," said Hyden. "We won our way through all of our matches, including the FIVB players, and it showed that we are a good team, and that our win last year wasn’t a fluke.”
Said Kropp, “There were a lot of butterflies this weekend and definitely our nerves set in because we wanted this so bad. This is the best place in the world to play and nothing else compares to the Manhattan Beach Open. Thank you to our fans for standing by us and helping us get through the weekend.”
Each team will once again have a plaque memorializing their victory placed onto Manhattan Beach Pier’s “Volleyball Walk of Fame,” which bears the names of the best beach volleyball players from the last 52 years.
Kropp/Pavlik and Hyden/Scott will get to experience another ceremony before the tournament begins in 2013. Their first ceremony experience, commemorating their 2011 championship, happened Friday.
Both final games will be televised on NBC Sports Network on Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network.
Detailed information is available at www.josecuervoprobeachvolleyballseries.com.
USA Volleyball, the governing body of the sport, is sanctioning each tournament in the Jose Cuervo Series, which has included the Florida Open, Belmar Open, Chicago Open, Hermosa Beach Open, Milwaukee Shootout and the MB Open.
The Huntington Beach National Championships, Sept. 21-23, is the last stop of the tour for 2012.
The tour is produced by IMG Worldwide, Inc.
The Manhattan Beach Open is the only professional volleyball tournament in which amateurs are able to "place into" the event through pre-qualifying rounds.
Previously on Hermosa Beach Patch:
Correction: Thanks to John Hyden who noticed that the last time we wrote about him and his partner in this article, we incorrectly referenced them as Hyden/Rosenthal. Please excuse our blunder! The winning team is Hyden/Scott and the incorrect mention eight paragraphs up from here has been corrected. Thanks, John! If you ever need a proofreading job, contact me.