Other than flying a kite, few outdoor activities seem enjoyable once the late-afternoon winds kick up along the Huntington Beach shoreline.
Nick Lucena and Sean Scott weren’t complaining, however. They took advantage of the unpredictable gusts to post one of the bigger upsets Friday afternoon on the opening day of the Huntington Beach Open beach volleyball tournament.
The seventh-seeded pair rallied to defeat second-seeded Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings, 18-21, 21-13, 15-9, to advance to this morning’s winner’s bracket semifinal against third-seeded John Hyden and Brad Keenan.
“It really changed the momentum,” said Scott, who grew up in Hawaii and now lives in Redondo Beach. “It makes the game a little more of a crapshoot.”
Lucena, who lives in Santa Barbara, and Scott were the only men’s team seeded outside the top four to advance to the winner’s bracket semifinals. Top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers will meet fourth-seeded Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in the other semifinal.
At nearly the same time that Lucena and Scott were making their comeback, sixth-seeded Annett Davis and partner Jenny Johnson Jordan staved off several match points and eventually upset third-seeded Jennifer Boss and April Ross, 12-21, 31-29, 15-13.
They’ll meet second-seeded Elaine Youngs and partner Nicole Branagh in one semifinal, while top-seeded Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh will play fourth-seeded Tyra Turner and Rachel Wacholder in the other.
The semifinals are scheduled for 8 a.m. Davis and Johnson Jordan trailed, 29-28, in the second game but pulled even after a long rally and then pushed the match to the deciding game. They trailed, 12-10, in the final game before scoring five of the last six points.