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MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2014) – Manhattan Beach resident Kerri Walsh Jennings began the week at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open presented by smart by being honored in the annual Walk of Fame ceremony, celebrating last year’s champions, on the Manhattan Beach Pier. She leaves the pier today as its newly crowned queen.

 

Three-time reigning Olympic gold medalist Walsh Jennings set an AVP Manhattan Beach Open presented by smart women’s record with her seventh career victory at the professional beach volleyball tour’s crown jewel event, teaming with 2012 Olympic silver medalist April Ross to defeat Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat, 19-21, 21-13, 9-0 (retired), in Sunday’s women’s final at the Manhattan Beach Pier.

 

Sixth-seeded veterans Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal, the 2013 AVP Manhattan Beach Open presented by smart runner-up, claimed  their second AVP men’s title, and eighth title worldwide, together, 21-17,  21-14, over Theo Brunner and Todd Rogers. Each of the four 2014 AVP Tour events has featured a different men’s champion.

 

Walsh Jennings/Ross and Dalhausser/Rosenthal won in front of a crowd of several thousand beachgoers who gathered around all sides of Stadium Court and stood halfway down the pier. There is no place like home for Walsh Jennings, a Manhattan Beach resident, who will get a seventh bronzed plaque on the pier’s Walk of Fame this time next year.

 

“The more I play the sport, the more I realize the significance of this event. It’s a huge one,” said Walsh Jennings. “I didn’t really know that earlier in my career. I just thought it was another tournament. I know all the legends now. They’ve become part of my family. This is a small community and I’m just honored.”

 

Walsh Jennings and Ross extended their record to 21-0 on the 2014 AVP Tour In beating Fendrick and Sweat for the fourth time in as many AVP women’s finals this year. Fendrick and Sweat were forced to retire, down 9-0 in the deciding set, when Sweat could not play on due to a lower back injury.

 

Having turned 36 on Friday, Walsh Jennings tallied her 70th career AVP title and 121st beach volleyball title worldwide at the $150,000 event known as the “Wimbledon of beach volleyball.”  The AVP Manhattan Beach Open presented by smart is in its 55th year as the longest-running tournament in pro beach volleyball history.

 

Said Ross: “I’m humbled by the fact that I’m going to be up there with Kerri on that pier until the world ends.”

 

Walsh Jennings and Ross lost just their third set on the 2014 AVP Tour in Sunday morning’s semifinals, but rallied to dispatch third-seeded Emily Day and Summer Ross, 22-24, 21-15, 15-8. Fendrick and Sweat also went three sets to make it back to another final, edging No. 5 seed Lane Carico and Kim DiCello, 21-16, 18-21, 15-11.

 

As they did in their first pair of 2014 finals matchups at the AVP St. Petersburg Open and AVP Milwaukee Open, Fendrick and Sweat captured the first set, with Sweat serving a clean ace down the middle on their first set point. Then down 4-1 in the second set, Walsh Jennings and April Ross promptly responded by controlling the second set and scoring the first nine points of the third set before Sweat received medical treatment in her player’s box for about 10 minutes.

 

“I’ll be okay,” Sweat said. “It started last week in Salt Lake City. I thought I could play through it. On my first jump serve in the second set (on Sunday at Manhattan Beach), I started to feel numbness and tingling down my leg, and it just kept getting worse. I thought I should probably look at the big picture and be cautious.”

 

It was the fourth AVP Manhattan Beach Open triumph for 2008 Olympic gold medalist Dalhausser (46 career AVP wins, 76 worldwide), who, ironically, won his first three consecutively, along with the 2008 Olympic gold medal, with Rogers from 2006-08. Two-time Olympian Rosenthal (12 career AVP wins, 23 worldwide) followed with his only prior AVP Manhattan Beach Open win in 2009.

 

“Manhattan is the Wimbledon here on the AVP for us. It’s a big one,” Rosenthal said. “Phil and I have been playing good this year. We weren’t 100 percent and played a little different game with Phil float serving and me jump serving; normally we’re the other way around but we did what we had to do. “We’re stoked to win, and we’ll try to keep it going the rest of the year.”

 

Dalhausser and Rosenthal held off No. 2 seed and 2014 AVP Milwaukee Open champions Tri Bourne and John Hyden in the semifinals, 21-12, 14-21, 15-12. Brunner and Rogers paved their way to the final with a 21-15, 21-16 semifinal victory over 2014 AVP St. Petersburg Open champions Brad Keenan and John Mayer, the No. 4 seed.

 

Final main-draw brackets can be found here:

                Men – http://99.198.119.114//stats/manhattan-beach-open-14-m/

                Women – http://99.198.119.114//stats/manhattan-beach-open-14-w/

 

The AVP Manhattan Beach Open presented by smart, which is owned and operated by IMG, is the fourth of seven tournaments on the 2014 AVP Tour schedule. Sunday’s finals were broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. The AVP and its leadership gives special thanks to smart USA, Paul Mitchell, Bud Light, Barefoot, HyperX, AQUAHydrate, Luvo and Whole Foods for their support of the AVP Manhattan Beach Open presented by smart.

 

ABOUT THE AVP

Established in 1983, the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) produces, markets and distributes volleyball events worldwide, including the popular AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. While promoting family-oriented events and supporting a healthy lifestyle, the AVP is best known for its world-class athletes, who have won numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the Olympic games. The AVP headquarters are in Costa Mesa, Calif.

 

About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 30 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include College, Media, IMG Academy, Events and Federations, Golf, Tennis, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; world-class partnerships with sponsors, brands and broadcasters; and marquee assets across entertainment, events and fashion. 

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