Daniel Greco | July 21, 2016
Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar are a new pairing on the AVP tour and while they haven’t been together long, they are dominating the Women’s bracket.
At the start of the season, Day’s partner was Jennifer Kessy while Hochevar was paired up with Jennifer Fopma. After trying to make a push for the Olympics, all four players switched partners with each other and while it seems like switching pairs is an irregular occurrence in beach volleyball, it is almost a yearly event for some players.
“There’s a lot of switching and I’m one of those players that switches a lot,” said Hochevar. “I don’t think it’s conducive to being a team, but it is just the nature of the game.”
However, in each new pairing, players can learn something from their new partner and that is exactly what happened with Hochevar. “My partnership with Misty May-Treanor was the most valuable as of late,” said Hochevar. “I played with her last year and seeing her level of play and focus, I’m just trying to carry that over.”
In 2012 and 2013, both Day and Hochevar paired up to play in a few tournaments but their relationship off the court goes farther back.
“Because the volleyball community is so small, [Brittany] Hochevar and I have been friends for years,” stated Day. “We have practiced against each other and played against each other and I know the type of player she is. I know the great positive energy she brings to the court.”
Now being together again, their friendship off the court has only strengthened their chemistry on the court. Day and Hochevar’s skills complement each other extremely well during matches and that is shown through their work ethic.
“[Brit] Hochevar is a great defender and she will hustle after every ball,” commented Day. “She’s a competitor and I like the way she fights on the court.”
This season, in their first tournament together, San Francisco, the duo made it to the semifinals and now, in only their second tournament together, they are Champions.
On the Saturday of the Manhattan Beach Open, Day and Hochevar had to play through the contender’s bracket to make it to the semifinals, defeating five seeded Angela Bensend and Geena Urango 21-19, 21-15 to seal their place. On the following Sunday, the tandem upended #2 Kim DiCello and Kendra VanZwieten 21-15, 21-19 to earn their spot in the final, where they were crowned victorious upsetting #1 Lane Carico and Summer Ross 21-16, 19-21, 19-17.
Day and Hochevar entered the Manhattan Beach Open as a six seed, but they expect themselves to advance to the finals in every tournament.
“We expect nothing less than the semifinals,” said Hochevar. “We both have a little chip on our shoulder after the Olympic push, we want to prove we belong there and that we are some of the best of the best.
These two players are so in sync that they both had only one goal going into the tournament: putting their names on the pier with a victory in the Manhattan Beach Open Finals, and on Sunday, the two achieved that goal.
While switching partners so often might seem to be detrimental, Day and Hochevar have proven that partner selection and team chemistry are two of the most important parts of success as an AVP Beach Pro and that shaking things up in the middle of the season can actually lead to a match made from Heaven.
For a further breakdown of all the shakeups that have happened on the AVP Tour this season, check out the article Shakeups and Shakedowns.