Swatik’s Play Earns Respect, but Loiola, Rego Net Victory
The Brazilian pair of Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego teamed to win Sunday’s $50,000 Miller Lite/AVP Open at Seal Beach, but the buzz afterward revolved around the play of David Swatik.
It was Swatik, in his first Assn. of Volleyball Professionals tour final in five years, that turned the event into the best championship final of the season in front of a boisterous crowd of 3,300.
Though third-seeded Loiola-Rego beat Swatik and Brian Lewis in the double-elimination tournament, 18-16, Swatik played like a seasoned pro in the final.
“I can’t believe Swatik played that well in his first final,” said Loiola, the top-ranked player on the tour.
It was a far cry from the morning’s winners-bracket final, in which Loiola-Rego defeated Lewis-Swatik, 15-6.
Sixth-seeded Swatik and Lewis got a second chance at the Brazilians by upsetting top-seeded Karch Kiraly and Adam Johnson, 15-13, in the losers-bracket final.
Swatik, of Manhattan Beach, had five aces in the championship, including ones that turned a 13-12 deficit into a 14-13 lead. His also had a service winner to make it, 16-15.
But that’s where the highlights ended for Swatik and Lewis.
Rego served consecutive aces. Then, with Loiola serving, Rego’s spike went off Swatik for the victory.
Loiola and Rego won $10,417. Since Loiola split with teammate Kent Steffes--they had won five of the first eight tournaments--Loiola and Rego have appeared in three of five finals, winning twice.
Swatik and Lewis split $5,937.