Top Women’s Teams on Course for Rematch
The top two women’s teams in beach volleyball arrived at the Manhattan Beach Open in different frames of mind Friday, but left the courts near the Manhattan Beach Pier undefeated after opening day, on course for an anticipated final clash.
Top-seeded Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh breezed through three matches, giving up 15 or fewer points in each game as they tried to shake off last week’s 21-16, 21-15 loss -- the most lopsided defeat of their four-year tenure as teammates.
Second-seeded Elaine Youngs and Rachel Wacholder, still riding the high from their victory over the Olympic champions last week, also went 3-0 Friday, but struggled a bit in their third match, a 19-21, 21-15, 15-13 victory over seventh-seeded Dianne DeNecochea and Tammy Leibl.
“We got here and everyone is congratulating us on last week,” Youngs said. “It’s hard to get focused on this week, but you have to and we did.”
May-Treanor and Walsh used a Wednesday practice session to work out the kinks. May-Treanor said she had already put it behind her, but Walsh said the bitter taste would probably remain until she won again.
“I hate losing,” she said. “It makes me feel ill. It’s huge motivation for me. It’s a different feeling coming here this week.”
Both teams need two victories today to set up a final rematch. May-Treanor and Walsh play fifth-seeded Tyra Turner and Makare Wilson today at 7:50 a.m., with a trip to the final four on the line.
Youngs and Wacholder will face Holly McPeak and Jennifer Kessy for a berth in the semifinals. The final is at 1 p.m.
Karch Kiraly and Mike Lambert, winners last week and the defending Manhattan Beach champions, won their two opening-day matches, including a 21-15, 21-10 breeze against Scott Davenport and Scott Lane in the second round. The men played only two rounds Friday because the tournament runs through Sunday.
Kiraly and Lambert play second-seeded Casey Jennings and Matt Fuerbringer, two-time winners this season, today at 11 a.m.
Top-seeded Stein Metzger and Jake Gibb barely broke a sweat in their two matches as the top seven seeded men’s teams made it through the first day unbeaten.