Hermosa Beach, Calif. (June 11, 2006) - Second-seed Rachel Wacholder and Elaine Youngs defeated top-seed and defending champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh on Sunday at the 2006 AVP Toyota Hermosa Beach Open presented by Bud Light. The 21-19, 24-22 win marks the first title this season for Wacholder and Youngs on the AVP Crocs Tour. The championship victory in Hermosa is their fourth career team title.
"Today's win was fun - it was light," said Youngs. "I felt that once we were there, neck and neck with them, that we would win." Wacholder added, "This is a great moment - we train every day for this. It was nice to bring it home."
"We lost to a great team - they deserve to win," said Walsh. "They played solid and they didn't make mistakes. Today the problem was on our side."
En route to the championship, Wacholder and Youngs defeated third-seed Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan 21-15, 21-13 in the fourth round and fifth-seed Jen Kessy-Boss and Nancy Mason 21-15, 19-21, 15-8 in the semifinals. Individually, this is the sixth title win for Wacholder and the 34th for Youngs; all four of their team titles have come at the expense of May-Treanor and Walsh, who have won all four previous tournaments this season with victories in Ft. Lauderdale, Tempe, Santa Barbara and Huntington Beach.
On the men's side, top seed Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers defeated second-seed Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger 19-21, 21-12, 17-5 in the championship match to win their fourth consecutive title of the season following tournament wins in Tempe, Santa Barbara and Huntington Beach.
"I love to play those guys - they're the top of the Tour. They have the best blocks, the best rallies, and are the best challengers. I like to play them in the finals," said Rogers.
"They're clicking right now," said Lambert of Dalhausser and Rogers. "It seems like they're in mid-stride. Its how we need to be and hopefully will be in the next final."
In the semifinals, Dalhausser and Rogers overcame nine game points in the first against fifth-seed and defending Hermosa Beach champions Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings to win the hard-fought match 36-34, 21-16. They were tested earlier in the tournament by eighth-seed Hans Stolfus and Aaron Wachtfogel who pushed Dalhausser and Rogers into the contender's bracket.
This is the second time Lambert and Metzger, playing in their fifth AVP tournament together, reached the finals. They defeated 27th-seed and Hermosa Beach locals Brad Keenan and John Mayer in the semifinals earlier on Sunday. The third-place finish for Keenan and Mayer, who came through the qualifier, is the highest of their career and ties an AVP record for the highest finish by a qualifier, equaling Mark Williams and Scott Wong who finished third in Tempe last season.
Following FSN Prime Ticket's live broadcast of the women's and men's finals, the network will air four straight hours of AVP Pro Beach Volleyball action as part of its premier "Volleywood Nights" at 6 p.m. PDT. The program will feature classic matches and a new episode of DiG TV.
For the first time, the AVP streamed live video of both the women's and men's finals on AVP.com.