Day And Hochevar Win Manhattan Beach Open Second Year In A Row

Manhattan Beach is the place to be for vacationers. And not just because 53% of beachgoers enjoy sunbathing. This summer from August 19-20, the city of surf and sun hosted the 58th AVP Manhattan Beach Open. AVP, or the Association of Volleyball Professionals, organized the event.

For the second time in a row, Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar came out victorious as the Beach Open champions, defeating Nicole Branagh and Brandie Wilkerson 21-18, 21-18. According to Los Angeles Daily News, Hochevar and Day are the first team to have won back-to-back Beach Opens since Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik back in 2012.

“It’s one thing to learn how to win,” said Hochevar to the LA Daily News. “Then it’s another thing to consistently win. And I think it’s hard to do. It’s hard to keep winning and for us to win the three California stops now in the same calendar year and then to go back-to-back in Manhattan Beach…”

Although seeding at No. 15, Branagh and Wilkerson were by no means an easy team to beat. Nicole Branagh, 38, is a 2008 U.S. Olympian and Brandie Wilkerson, 25, is renowned for her athleticism.

Hochevar and Day knew not to underestimate the team. Hochevar, 36, described to The Los Angeles Times Wilkerson’s powerful block jump.

“She’s left handed,” Hochevar said of Wilkerson. “She puts a skin on the ball where even if I’m there, I was having difficulty controlling it.”

Wilkerson’s blocking ability was one of the factors that landed her and Branagh the scores 16-21, 21-19, 15-10 against Olympian April Ross and Lauren Fendrick during the women’s semifinal.

During the match with Day and Hochevar, Day ended the first set with a tip-shot. She then blocked Branagh in the second set, giving her and Hochevar a 16-13 lead.

Overall, Day finished with two blocks and 19 kills. Hochevar finished with two aces, six digs, and 12 kills. Branagh finished with eight kills and four digs. And finally, Wilkerson finished with 14 kills and four blocks.

The men’s Beach Open was won by Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser. The team defeated Trevor Crabb and Seth Rosenthal 23-25, 21-18, 15-10.

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