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With beach volleyball long over in Rio, the United State’s best players competed in Chicago for the AVP Championships Presented by Acer from Thursday, September 1st to Sunday, September 4th on Oak Street Beach off the shores of Lake Michigan. Olympians in attendance included Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat, Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, and April Ross.
All the AVP athletes brought the heat, and competed fiercely all weekend long.  On Sunday, the champions were crowded with Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena and Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat coming out on top. Dalhausser and Lucena stopped Tri Bourne and John Hyden, 21-13, 21-7, followed by Fendrick and Sweat’s 14-21, 21-10 & 19-17 victory over Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen.
Dalhausser and Lucena, playing in their 34th AVP tournament together, advanced to the finals by outlasting Ryan Doherty and John Mayer in a semifinal that lasted 80 minutes, the Olympians finally emerging victorious, 19-21, 21-17, 19-17. The pair, who began their AVP careers playing with each other from 2003-2005 and 2015-present, clinched their 4th AVP win together to close out the 2016 AVP season.
Fendrick and Sweat capped an improbable run through the Contender’s Bracket, which had them winning five matches on Friday and Saturday after falling in their first main draw match on Friday. They then upended the previously unbeaten Ali McColloch and Geena Urango, 21-11, 23-21, to advance to the Sunday finals. Playing in their 9th AVP tournament together and 40th time overall, this marks the duos first AVP win of the 2016 season.
The AVP Championships Presented by Acer marks the end of an incredible season. This season’s stops included New Orleans, Huntington Beach, Cincinnati, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, Manhattan Beach, and the championships in Chicago. It was beyond impressive to see all the talent our players possess, and we have no doubt that next season will heat up even more as we bring volleyball to the beaches all over the United States.