Second AVP Titles for Jen Kessy & April Ross and Jake Gibb & Casey Patterson in Front of a Full-House Crowd
Fans take over Atlantic City to witness world-class athletes during final day of competition
Atlantic City, N.J. – A beautiful Atlantic City day along the iconic boardwalk and pier next to the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel set the scene for the final day of the DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational, all part of the AVP tour. With all the action taking place on center court – the grandstands were filled at capacity with standing room only on the sand and boardwalk, allowing the excited spectators to witness world-class beach volleyball athletes fight for a piece of the $100,000 prize purse on the final day of competition.
Through a redevelopment partnership with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), the City of Atlantic City, the Atlantic City Alliance and Caesars Entertainment’s Showboat Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, the return of professional beach volleyball to Atlantic City is back and stronger than ever.
“This weekend's competition has been the ultimate celebration of the homecoming of beach volleyball in Atlantic City after 16 years," said Liza Cartmell, president, Atlantic City Alliance. "The beautiful weather and excited crowds have made this event a great extension of our summer season."
Jake “Spiker” Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey “Boom”Patterson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) progressed through the semi-finals earlier in the day with a win against N.J. local Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) only to face Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Phil Dalhausser (Ventura, Calif.) in the finals – defeating the former Olympians in two sets, 21-19, 21-15. As the sun set on the men’s final, Patterson’s off-speed cut shots, Gibb’s dominant blocks and solid passing from both greatly contributed to their success in the final to become the 2013 DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational champions, claiming their second straight AVP title so far this season after last week’s competition in Cincinnati. This became the first time Gibb and Patterson defeated Dalhausser and Rosenthal in the finals as they lived up to their names of Spiker and Gibb.
“We have a bit of a rivalry with these guys and it was really sweet to finally win them in the finals,” said Gibb. “There are a lot of hardcore volleyball fans in Atlantic City who really know the game of beach volleyball. I really love Atlantic City and hope to come back!”
As fate would have it, the No. 7 seed team of Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) would meet again of Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) during the semi-finals match at one of the greatest sports destinations on the East Coast.
"Last summer, there was a vacant lot along the Boardwalk where these world-class beach volleyball courts now stand. It’s been an exciting weekend watching exceptional athletes competing in a pro beach volleyball competition here in Atlantic City," said John Palmieri, Executive Director, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. "The CRDA is glad to be able to provide opportunities like these for residents, visitors and even pro athletes to enjoy all that Atlantic City has to offer.”
Pavlik and Walsh hoped to dethrone their opponents after meeting them in the finals in Cincinnati last weekend, but reminiscent to last weekend’s stop, the pair fell to their opponents in two sets, 21-16, 21-15. Both Day and Ross progressed through the weekend with a nearly perfect record after playing through a full day of matches in Qualifying rounds on Friday.
Emotions ran high as both teams relied on well-place cut shots, scrappy defense and solid blocks. However, it was Jen and April who would prevent Emily and Summer from earning their second straight AVP title – marking the first time the two Ross’s have ever met in competition. The 2012 silver medalists closed out the third match with a memorable winning point that brought the crowd to their feet, erupting in cheers. This weekend’s win will be one of two AVP titles Kessy and Ross have won, with Salt Lake City being their first. The duo posted scores of 23-25, 21-16, 15 -13.
“We know a lot of you came a long way to be here this weekend so we really appreciate you being here,” said Ross to the crowd who stood on their feet in support of the women’s finalists.
Sponsors of the 2013 DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational include Atlantic City Alliance, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), Paul Mitchell, Showboat Atlantic City, 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.