In spite of poor weather, Northern Ireland Beach Volleyball got off to a positive start at Portrush’s East Strand with the Ballymoney Blaze Club’s Open tournaments.
Local players David Park and Jeff Scott were at home and won the event, beating visitors Adrian Margol from Poland and his Portugese partner Ivo Teixeira in the final.
The matches had use of London 2012 posts and nets and beach volleyballs as part of London Legacy to Northern Ireland.
Despite the support of a large number of Latvian fans in the stands of the Scheveningen Beach Stadium Smedins and Samoilovs did not live up to their standard. In the first set they could keep up with the Brazilians, but in the second they were overpowered: 21-19 21-12.
On the men’s side No. 3 Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) breezed by the Netherlands’ No. 30 Michiel van Dorsten and Steven van de Velde in two sets (21-13, 21-14 in 32 minutes).
Meanwhile, Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Las Vegas, Nev.), seeded No. 5, clawed their way past a tight first-set to defeat Canada’s No. 28 Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk (31-29, 21-15 in 44 minutes).
Last week AVP Owner Donald Sun, and Chairman Dick Carle launched a nationwide press tour that saw them traveling across the country to promote the upcoming AVP Tour. The weeklong press jaunt included stops in four different cities in four days. Along the way, Donald and Dick were joined by Kerri Walsh-Jennings in New York City, Todd Rogers in Cincinnati, Jake Gibb in Salt Lake City and April Ross in St. Petersburg, Fla.