Top seeds, including Ohio natives Tealle Hunkus and Kelly Schumacher, advance to main draw
Mason, Ohio (August 29, 2014) – Four men’s and four women’s teams played their way into the main draw of the AVP Cincinnati Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio by way of Thursday’s open qualifier, rounding out the list of 32 teams vying for the 2014 tournament titles.
For four straight days (August 28-31), Mason, Ohio will be the center of the beach volleyball world as the best and brightest in the sport – including three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, Olympic gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, and defending Cincinnati Open champions Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson and Emily Day/Summer Ross will serve, set and spike on three courts built in the tennis center on 1,000 tons of trucked-in sand.
Tickets for the AVP Cincinnati Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center start at just $10 and can be purchased at the gate or at 220.127.116.11. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult, and VIP and courtside seating options are available. Main-draw play begins Friday at 10 a.m.
Kicking off the event Thursday, 36 men’s teams and 13 women’s teams competed for eight available spots in the main draw tournament. Among those advancing to the main draw on the women’s side was Ohio’s own Tealle Hunkus (Girard, Ohio) and partner Kendra Van Zwieten (Pompano Beach, Fla.), who were the top seeded women’s team in Thursday’s single-elimination tournament. Hunkus and Van Zwieten will open their main draw play on Friday at 11:05 a.m. against fourth-seeded Lane Carico and Kim DiCello. Other women’s players to advance included Aurora Davis (Groveland, Fla.) and Kelly Schumacher, a Cincinnati native and two-time WNBA Champion who has made a successful professional sports career transition from the hard court to the sand; Angela Bensend (Plano, Tex.) and Geena Urango (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Catlin Ledoux (Phelan, Calif.) and Irene Pollock (Fort Worth, Tex.).
The men’s qualifier provided plenty of excitement, as eighth-seeded Hawk Hatcher (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Clay Paullin (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) upset top-seeded Bill Kolinske (Big Bend, Wisc.) and Adam Roberts (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), as the young team earned its second career main draw berth. Also surprising the competition were 13th-seeded Mark Burik (Glendale, N.Y.) and new partner Andrew Denlter (Fairfax, Va.), who is making his AVP debut in Cincinnati. Burik and Dentler won three matches, including an upset of the fourth-seeded Jason Lochhead (Los Angeles) and Russ Marchewka (Santa Ana, Calif.) in their second match of the day to earn their way into Friday’s main draw. Also winning their way into the main draw via Thursday’s qualifier were third seeds Will Montgomery and Ed Ratdledge of Manhattan Beach, Calif and second seeds Hudson Bates (Arlington, Va.) and Dave McKienzie (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
The top seeds in the main draw on the men’s and women’s side will be the first on the sand on Friday as three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and teammate April Ross – an Olympic silver medalist – look to extend their 21-match unbeaten streak in 2014, opening their campaign for the Cincinnati title at 10 a.m. The supremely accomplished Walsh Jennings is the winningest women’s player in beach volleyball history with 121 career titles – two of which were earned in Mason (2006, 2007). With a win in Cincinnati, she would tie Randy Stoklos for third on the all-time victories list.
The top men’s top team of Tri Bourne and John Hyden – third in last year’s AVP Cincinnati Open – is scheduled to play its first match at 10:10 a.m. Friday.
Defending women’s champions Day and Ross will play their first match at 12:15 p.m. Friday. Defending men’s champions Gibb and Patterson will open the defense of their title at 3:25 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
Complete brackets from Thursday’s qualifiers can be found here:
Updated main-draw brackets, reflecting the teams who qualified Thursday, can be found here (will be updated early Thursday evening):
The AVP and its leadership gives special thanks to smart USA, Barefoot, Paul Mitchell, HyperX, the City of Mason and UC Health for their support of the AVP Cincinnati Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Ohio.
Live scoring available at http://avpscoring.com