Briefs: Ross, Gibb earn AVP titles

Newport Harbor High product April Ross and Costa Mesa resident Jake Gibb swept the women's and men's titles Sunday at the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Salt Lake City Open in Utah.

Ross and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings, the top seeds in the women's draw, captured the title with a 21-16, 21-15 win over No. 2-seeded Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat. Gibb and his partner Casey Patterson, the No. 2 seeds in the men's draw, earned the men's title after after outlasting No. 4-seeded Ryan Doherty and Nick Lucena, 17-21, 21-17, 21-15, in the title match.

It is the third AVP title of the year for Ross, a 32-year-old Costa Mesa resident, and the three-time Olympic gold medalist Walsh Jennings, following triumphs in St. Petersburg and Milwaukee. They are 15-0 on the AVP Tour this year and split $15,000 for the Salt Lake City victory. They have also won four titles in nine tournaments on the Federation Internationale de Volleyball international tour in 2014.

Ross and Walsh Jennings won all 10 sets they played in the Salt Lake City Open. In the semifinals they topped No. 3-seeded Emily Day and Summer Ross, 21-14, 21-17.

Ross and Walsh Jennings have beaten Fendrick and Sweat in the finals of each of their AVP tournament wins. In Salt Lake City, Ross had 13 kills and three errors on the final, for a hitting percentage of 0.417. Walsh Jennings led everyone with 15 kills and a 0.609 hitting percentage.

Gibb, 38, and Patterson earned their first tournament title of the year on either the AVP or FIVB tour. They upset top-seeded Tri Bourne and John Hyden, 21-19, 17-21, 15-13, in the semifinals.

Gibb had 19 kills and seven errors in the final, and a hitting percentage of 0.308.

The AVP Tour resumes this weekend with the Manhattan Beach Open, which begins Thursday.

— From staff reports

UCI represented on U.S. volleyball team

Four volleyball players with UC Irvine men's volleyball ties — Michael Brinkley, Scott Kevorken, Zachary La Cavera and Jeremy Dejno — are on the U.S. team that is competing at the IX Pan American Cup in Tijuana, Mexico.

Brinkley, a libero, is the lone returner on the team. The incoming senior joins one UCI teammate, La Cavera, a future senior opposite. Dejno, an outside hitter, and Kevorken, a middle blocker, are former UCI players.

Brinkley and Kevorken earned All-American honors by the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. this past season, Brinkley making the first team and Kevorken the second team.

The tournament, which features Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominic Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico, began on Monday and ends on Saturday. The U.S. is in the same pool with Colombia and Mexico.

— From staff reports

Water Polo

The USA men's Cadet national team in water polo begins action on Wednesday in Serbia for the Darko Cucic Memorial Tournament, and there are lots of Southern California players on the team.

They include Jackson Seybold from Corona del Mar, as well as goalie Sam Krutonog, an incoming freshman at Harvard-Westlake who's the youngest player on the team at 14.

Also on the team are Patrick Saunders from Huntington Beach, Quinten Osborne from Huntington Beach, Wyatt Benson from Huntington Beach, Jake Ehrhardt from Camarillo, Jacob Cavano from Huntington Beach, Ash Molthen from Buena Park, Chase Travisano from Glendora and Miles Schridde from Burbank.

— Eric Sondheimer

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