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SPORTS WEEKEND

Arce-McPeak Team Heads Field at Huntington Beach

Beach volleyball: Top-ranked pair go after fourth consecutive major title on women's circuit.

June 27, 1997|MIKE ITAGAKI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Ocean Pacific U.S. Open, the first grand slam event on the Evian Women's Professional Volleyball Assn. tour, will be held today through Sunday at Huntington Beach Pier.

The tournament features the beach volleyball tour's largest field (48 two-person teams) and, along with another major--the Evian Nationals--offers the largest purse, $60,000.

Lisa Arce and Holly McPeak, the top-ranked team on the tour, are expected to challenge for their fourth consecutive major title. They won last season's final three grand slam events, the Evian Invitational, Evian Nationals and Best of the Beach III.

Arce and McPeak, both from Manhattan Beach, won three consecutive WPVA events this year before Karolyn Kirby and Nancy Reno beat them Sunday, 15-11, in the final at Atlantic City, N.J.

All of the top teams are scheduled to compete at Huntington Beach, and the tournament also will feature some international pairs. The '96 Olympic bronze medalists, Australia's Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, and Germany's Maike Friedrichsen and Danja Musch are scheduled to play.

The first of today's two rounds in the double-elimination tournament begins today at 11 a.m. Play starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and at 8 a.m. Sunday.

The championship is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, preceded by semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free.

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