It was a big day for underdogs and Texans in the first day of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Austin Open tournament. Three of four walk-on women’s team defeated their top-four seeded opponents. Two of these walk-on winners were from Texas, including one from Austin. And the top seeded team fell to a walk-on qualifying team on the men’s side of the draw.
The AVP Austin tournament is an “open” format, allowing walk-on teams to compete in the Qualifiers bracket. The top four finishers in the Qualifiers bracket are given the lowest seed position in the Main bracket. The highest seeded teams play the lowest seeded teams in the first round of the Main bracket. Forty-six women’s teams and 47 men’s teams competed the previous day in a single elimination competition.
The AVP Austin tournament is also a double elimination tournament. Teams that lose a match in the Main bracket are allowed to compete again in a Contenders bracket, sometimes called the Losers bracket. The winner of the Main bracket and the Contender bracket meet for the tournament championship.
In one of the first matches of the, the women’s #1 seeded team of Emily Day and Besti Flint were defeated at the hands of Austin-based walk-ons Katie Lindelow and Lauren Dickenson. Lindelow and Dickson came from behind after dropping the first set badly to take the final two sets 21-17 and 15-12.
The women’s seconded seeded team of Caitlin Ledoux and Geena Urango fell to the Texas-based walk-on team of Meghan Mannari and Taylor Nyguist. Mannari and Nyguist took the first set 21-19, lost the second set badly 12-21, and battled to take the final set 16-14.
Qualifiers Kimberly Hildreth and Sarah Schermerhorn handily defeated the third seeded women’s team of Brittany Howard and Kelly Reeves in straight sets.
And fourth women seed team of Karissa Cook and Jace Pardon was the highest seeded team to win their Main bracket match. They took Sheila Shaw and Mackenzie Ponnent in two sets.
Hildreth and Schermerhorn proved they were not just one-win wonders and advanced into the final match where they faced Karissa Cook and Jace Pardon. The underdogs lost their wonder and fell in straight sets to Cook and Pardon 21-11, 21-11.
In the men’s bracket, top seed Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb lost to 16thseed Paul Lotman and Gabriel Ospina. Lotman and Ospina dropped the first set but won the final two 23-21 and 15-23.
The remaining top seeds in the men’s Main bracket prevailed. Second seed Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena defeated the team of Daniel Dalanhese and Joseph in straight sets.
The number seeded team of Ed Ratledge and Roberto Rodriquez defeated Skylar del Sol and Bruno Amorin in straight sets.
And the fourth seeded team of Jeremy Casebeer and Chaim Schalk knocked down Manny Lorenz and Eric Beranek handily in straight set.
Crabb and Gibb when undefeated in the consolation round to advance to the finals where they faced the team of Casebeer and Schalk. Crabb and Gibb took the championship in straight sets, 21-16, 21-16.