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Locals advance to AVP final

The championship match of the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Salt Lake City Open men's tournament pitted local athletes against each other Sunday.

The tournament title went to the team of Casey Patterson of Huntington Beach and teammate Jake Gibb of Costa Mesa. The duo rallied from a set down to knock off the team of Ryan Doherty of Fountain Valley and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in an exciting final, 17-21, 21-17 17-15.

It was the first win on the 2014 tour for Patterson and Gibb who, at the first two tour events of the season, finished runner-up to the title at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Open June 1, and tied for third at the Milwaukee Open July 6.

Patterson and Gibb, the tournament's No. 2-seed, knocked off the top-seeded team of Tri Bourne (Manhattan Beach) and John Hyden (Sherman Oaks) in a close semifinal match, 21-19, 17-21, 15-13, to advance to the final.

Patterson and Gibb earned $15,000 and 750 points by winning the tournament.

Tying for third place with the fourth-seeded team of Bourne and Hyden was the No. 5-seeded team of Theo Brunner of Fountain Valley and Todd Rodgers (Solvang). Brunner and Rodgers reached the semifinals where they were eliminated from title contention by Doherty and Lucena, 21-14, 21-14.

The third-seeded team of Brad Keenan (Fountain Valley High/Costa Mesa) and John Mayer (Mar Vista), who won the St. Petersburg Open, tied for fifth. The duo's tournament run ended in a wild Round 4 loss to Brunner/Rogers, 41-43, 21-18, 12-15.

Pedro Brazao of Huntington Beach and Steve Grotowski (Boynton Beach, Fla.), seeded eighth, finished equal-ninth.

The Salt Lake City women's tournament title was won by April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

The tournament's top-seeded team, which previously won tournament titles at the St. Petersburg Open and Milwaukee Open, defeated Brooke Sweat (Costa Mesa)/Lauren Fendrick (Hermosa Beach), 21-16, 21-15, in the final.

Summer Ross of Huntington Beach and Emily Day (Hermosa Beach) finished equal-third. Ross and Day reached the semifinals where they were defeated, 21-14, 21-17 by Ross and Walsh Jennings.

The next stop on the 2014 AVP tour is the Manhattan Beach Open. The prestigious tournament starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

The remaining AVP tour stops of the season are the Cincinnati Open (Aug. 28-31), Atlantic City (N.J.) Open (Sept. 5-7) and the AVP Championships (Sept. 18-21) at the Huntington Beach Pier.

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