Sunday, August 17, 2014

2014 Manhattan Beach AVP - Saturday

It's Saturday and we're back for day 2 at the Manhattan Beach AVP. It was a great day on Friday and Ian was so well behaved we're back again!

Today we got a much earlier start arriving at the parking garage at 8:45. This time it was a public lot with 10 hour parking and plenty of open spots. Ian hopped in the Ergo while I carried the rest of the gear to the beach.

Looks like it's going to be another beautiful day in Manhattan Beach.

Once again we made our way through the sponsor's tent, picking up a sample of McDonald's horchata frappe and Oberto beef jerky.

Yesterday we moved around to different courts, but baked in the hot sun. Today we're staying on Court 1 watching the top women's teams. Because we're not moving around, we brought the beach umbrella and enjoyed sitting in the shade all day. Theresa enjoyed some jerky and Ian enjoyed the straw for the frappe.

Another beautiful day in Southern California.

The first match of the day was Emily Cook and Laryssa Mereszczak versus Briana Hinga and Tealle Hunkus, both in the contender's bracket and trying to win their way back into the finals. The losers here are going home.

Briana and Tealle won in two quick matches.

The next match was Lara Dykstra and Jace Pardon versus Lynn Galli and Amanda Wiggins. We were sitting next to Jace Pardon's family, and it was interesting to hear them yelling at her and her partner the whole match.

Lara and Jace had a really rough start, going down by 6 points but eventually came back to win in 2 games.

Taking a peek at the featured men's court. I like this photo because it has lots of things in it; the giant AVP blowup volleyball, two guys battling at the net, and the Manhattan Beach pier in the background.

By 10:30, we were joined by Lacey and Jonathan Baker. This is their last weekend out and about as Lacey is 9 months pregnant! I couldn't think of a much better way to spend it.

The next match was a winner's bracket match between Lane Carico and Kim DiCello versus Heather Hughes and Whitney Pavlik.
In the past, Theresa and I have actually worked AVP events, getting paid to keep statistics of each match (aces, attacks, digs, kills, errors, etc). If you didn't know the names of the players, you usually looked for a distinguishing feature and for the women, most of the time it would be their swimsuit top or bottom. As soon as these teams took the court we both mentioned how difficult that would have been for this match. Both players from both teams chose hot pinks bottoms with a teal blue top!

Lane and Kim ended up winning the match in two games.

The next match in the winner's bracket was between Emily Day and Summer Ross versus Jessica Gysin and Morgan Miller. Summer Ross has a huge cheering section out today. I believe her family was sitting to our right, a huge fan club was across the court holding signs and cheering, and lots of people coming out specifically to watch her.

And she was great to watch. Most girls regularly bump-set the ball for their partner. Summer however could hand-set the ball with a great touch, putting up front sets and even back hand-sets.

And she even blocks too.

Emily Day picking up a short ball.

And Summer Ross getting there just in time to keep it in play.

During a long time-out the AVP fan crew came out to the court to give out mini-volleyballs. I held Ian up hoping they would throw us a ball, but we weren't lucky enough to get one.
...but one of Summer Ross' family was. They saw Ian didn't get one, but really felt he should have one. They handed it to Ian and he took it from their hand. He became enamored with it and wouldn't put it down.

He kept trying to squeeze it, thinking it might squeak like some of his other toys. Even now that we're back home, it's still one of his favorites. Thank you to Summer's family for giving it to him!

It took three games, but Emily and Summer won the match.

Ian enjoying the view.

I keep it trimmed short, but Ian still manages to find enough hair to grab onto.

After the match I took another walk through the sponsor's tents. At this point I really should give a shout out to Luvo and their delicious Greek Frozen Yogurt bars. They've been passing out full size bars from the start of the day to the end of the day. Every time I see them, there's a line and they're giving them away by the handful. I'm sure they're giving out a ridiculous number of bars on these hot summer days and I'm certainly doing my part. Today I achieved the trifecta, tasting all three flavors, chocolate, strawberry and blueberry. Thank you Luvo!
And Ian thanks you too! He's already on to solid foods and has tried greek yogurt and strawberries already, so T thought he was ready to try his first frozen treat.

I think he was surprised by the coldness.

But from the way he was smacking his lips, I think he liked it.

We've only got time for one more game before we have to take off. Seven hours on the beach is more than enough for anyone. Once again we see Jessica Gysin and Morgan Miller, this time facing off against Sarah Day and Christal Engle in the contender's bracket.

We didn't see it all, but Sarah and Christal ended up winning in 2 games.

The finals are tomorrow, but we've got to relax at least one day this weekend.

It's been a great couple days though. It's also fantastic to watch professionals play one of the sports I love. It always inspires me to continue to improve.

The AVP has one more stop in Southern California this year at Huntington Beach on September 18 - 21. It's free to attend so if you're in the area, I highly suggest you go!

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