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Men's Draw at AVP Sinks in Quicksand

Some seeded teams fall, but Kiraly and Doble survive; May and Walsh cruise into women's semifinals.

June 08, 2003|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Top-seeded teams were tumbling in the men's main draw Saturday during the AVP Hermosa Beach Open, but the women's favorites and a longtime crowd favorite managed to avert the upset bug and advance to the semifinals.

Misty May and Kerri Walsh, the top-seeded women's team, breezed into today's semifinal round with two easy victories, and beach volleyball legend Karch Kiraly teamed with Brent Doble to score a 26-24, 21-17 quarterfinal victory over Stein Metzger and Kevin Wong.

Eric Fonoimoana and Dax Holdren, the top-seeded men's team, weren't as fortunate. They won their first match but lost their next and were eliminated in a 16-21, 21-17, 17-15 loss to unseeded Jake Elliott and Brian Soldano.

Fred Souza and Eduard Bacil, the third-seeded men's team, also were eliminated, leaving the second-seeded Kiraly and Doble counting their blessings they made it through unscathed.

"It was mass chaos on the men's bracket today, and somehow we slithered to Sunday undefeated," said Kiraly, the most successful beach volleyball player of all time with 143 tournament victories. "But I'm not really thinking about the win yet. You can't take anything for granted."

May and Walsh, making their Southern California professional debut, showed why they are the top women's team in the world by defeating Paula Roca and Gracie Santana-Baeni, 21-14, 21-13, and cruising past Jennifer Meredith and Wendy Stammer, 21-12, 21-13.

Last year, the Southern California residents played exclusively on the Europen-based FIVB Tour and won five tournaments. This year, they are committed to playing the AVP Tour and have won the first two events.

"The score may make it seem easy but those girls did some great things and they challenged us," May said. "I think today we were just on top of our game and when we're playing well, it's really tough to beat us."

Kiraly and Doble will play Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings in one semifinal. Scott Ayakatubby and Brian Lewis will play Jake Gibb and Adam Jewell in the other.

In the women's semifinals, May and Walsh will play Lisa Arce and Rachel Wacholder, and Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan will play Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs.

The women's final is at 2 p.m and the men's is at 3:30.

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