A Look at the American Teams Who Made it to the Weekend at The FIVB Four Star in Huntington Beach
The 48 team main draw at the FIVB Huntington Beach Open Four Star event has taken its toll on the American teams who made the main draw. Here is a look at the survivors who will be treated to large home crowds on Saturday.
John Hyden and Theo Brunner
John and Theo have put up a couple of very nice wins this week. The best was a 21-13-21-16 win over Doppler and Horst, the Austrians who later eliminated Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick. On Saturday they have a match against Evandro and Bruno for a spot in the semi-finals. Not dropping to the contender's bracket has been a huge advantage for the 45 year old Hyden. A loss against the Brazilians would mean more home team volleyball for American fans to watch on Saturday, but I'm sure that John and Theo would prefer to punch their ticket to Sunday.
Phil Dahlhauser and Nick Lucena
Phil and Nick lost a difficult match to the Latvian's Janis Smedlins and Alexandrs Smoilovs on stadium court Friday afternoon. They will now have to work through the contender's bracket to get into the semifinals on Sunday. This means that if they win against the second Latvian team of Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs, they will have to survive two more matches to make it to the semifinals on Sunday. A tough order, but not out of reach of the USA's number one team.
Summer Ross and Sara Hughes
Summer and Sara face a tough winner's bracket match on stadium court Saturday morning against Barbara and Fernanda of Brazil. The young Americans have yet to drop a set this week and knocked the number one seed Lauren Fendrick and Brook Sweat into the contender's bracket on Friday afternoon. No matter how Saturday plays out, Summer and Sara will have a finish they can be proud of against a very tough field in Huntington.
Lauren Fendrick and Brook Sweat
Brook Sweat is scheduled to have surgery on her shoulder on Monday and at times it has shown in Huntington. That being said, Brook has battled and has no shortage of shots to use in her toolbox. Her and Lauren regrouped nicely after a lackluster first set against Summer and Sara, but now have a ton of work to do to get to the finals. They start Saturday morning with a match against the surprise American's Kelly Reeves and Britttany Howard.
April Ross and Alix Klineman
It feels disrespectful to list the A team third in the American lineup. They have been the best American team in the tournament so far. Their loss was a three set battle against the number one team in the World from Canada Sara Pavan and Melissa Humana-Parades. Now they will grind through the contender's bracket starting at 8:30 Saturday morning with a tough match against the German's. Alix and April are playing really well together and are still our favorites to win it all in Huntington. A stadium court rematch with Canada would be dreamy.
Kelly Larsen and Emily Stockman
Aside from a tough loss to Summer and Sara, Kelly and Emily have had a fantastic ride through the draw in Huntington Beach. There are no easy paths in this event, but this team will come into Saturday with the feeling that their most difficult work is in front of them. Their Saturday morning will start with a tough match-up against Chantel Laboureur and Julia Sude from Germany. They can only improve on what will be a great 9th place result in Huntington.
Kelly Reeves and Brittany Howard
"What just happened?" were the words that Kelly Reeves uttered to partner Brittany Howard after their second win against a Swiss team on Saturday. The fans had cleared out, a collection of friends stayed around for hugs and celebration on stadium court. Kelly and Brittany have helped shown the World how bright the future of women's volleyball is in the United States. They face off against Lauren and Brook Saturday morning and are taking full advantage of the opportunity to earn coveted FIVB points in the Huntington Beach Four Star Event.