PHOTO: Ryan Doherty blocks a shot. Photos by Mpu Dinani/A-Game Photography.
Favorites earn spot in tomorrow’s Semi-Final competition at the DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational
Atlantic City, N.J. (Sept. 7, 2013) – Prime conditions for beach volleyball welcomed Day Two of the DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational and fourth stop of the AVP tour as some of the world’s best volleyball players graced the white sands to begin the first round of the Main Draw on the new volleyball courts, which were vacant just last year. Set against Atlantic City’s famous boardwalk and steel pier, fans began filling the sand, lining the Boardwalk and claiming the best seat in the stadium bleachers at an early hour.
“What a beautiful weekend in Atlantic City to welcome the best in the sport,” said James Leitz, SVP, IMG and executive producer, DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational. “We have been looking forward to this all summer. Watching the crowds show up early to witness all the action in thisterrific facility has been a gratifying experience and we want to thank theCity for welcoming us into their home.”
Due to a re-development partnership between the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), the City of Atlantic City, the Atlantic City Alliance and Caesar’s Entertainment’s Showboat Atlantic City Hotel & Casino; world-class beach volleyball athletes and amateurs alike are now able to take advantage of the public volleyball courts in Atlantic City.
Earlier in the day, enthusiastic fans camped out along the grassy knolls and filled the stands in the outer courts to watch Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) send Kerri Walsh-Jennings (San Jose, Calif.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) to the contenders bracket in two sets, reaffirming Ross and Day’s win at the AVP Cincinnati Open this past weekend was no fluke. Day and Ross appeared confident and calm throughout the match, utilizing well-placed shots and smart blocking skills to cruise to victory in 21-15, 21-17 and earning the admiration of many. However, Walsh-Jennings and Pavlik later defeated Christal Engle (Pullyaup, Wash.) and Tealle Hunkus (El Segundo, Calif.) in three sets; 21-17, 18-21, 15-9 and advancing into the semi-finals tomorrow.
PHOTO: Kerri Walsh-Jennings blocks a shot.
“The courts were so packed today. The Atlantic City crowd was so loud and it was awesome to hear how much they love volleyball!” said Whitney Pavlik, three-time Manhattan Beach Open. “The competition is at the highest level, the facility is just amazing -- I’m glad they want us here and we hope to come back for many years to come.”
The full-house crowd could be seen moving between the stadium court and the outer courts after the conclusion of each game to watch the next match-up, in particular to witness Casey Patterson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) defeat Nick Lucena (Ft. Lauderdale,Fla.) and Theodore Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.); 21-17, 17-21, and 17-15, keeping their dream alive of claiming their piece of the weekend’s $100,000 prize purse.
Local celebrity Ryan “Avatar” Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Olympic gold medalist Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) faced off against Brad Keenan (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and John Mayer (Culver City, Calif.) on the outer courts; defeating them in two sets 21-9, 21-11.
Day Two photos from the DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational Qualifiers can be found here.
For a complete list of today’s results and brackets, visit: avp.com/stats/do-ac-invitational-statistics.
The action continues tomorrow morning, Sunday, Sept. 8 with Semi-finals beginning at 9 a.m. Finals for the DO AC Pro BeachVolleyball Invitational will take place at 2 p.m. PT beginning with the Men’s Final and Women’s Final at 3 p.m. to wrap up the tournament. Admission is free to the public.
Sponsors of the 2013 DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational include Atlantic City Alliance, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), Paul Mitchell, Showboat AtlanticCity, Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic Club, Resorts Casino, Tropicana, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Revel, Trump Plaza, Borgata, Harrah’s, Bally’s and more.
For more information on the DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational, go to avp.com/events/atlantic-city.