Perseverance paid off for the men’s and women’s winning teams at the National Volleyball League’s West Coast Championship Sunday when both squads took the long road to reach the podium in Hermosa Beach.
Mike Morrison and Derek Olson battled their way out of the qualifying round to earn a 30th seed, but the extra competition failed to deter the duo from claiming the men’s title with a 21-16, 21-18 victory over the 12th seeded team of Austin Rester (Manhattan Beach) and Mike Placek.
The second seeded team of Dave McKienzie/Matt Prosser tied for 3rd place with sixth-seeded Jason Lochhead/Russ Marchewka.
The Canadian team of Andrew Hinchey and Ryan Vanderburg claimed the top seed but finished in 5th place along with eighth seeds Jesse Rambis (Manhattan Beach) and Mark Williams.
Redondo Beach resident Iwona Lodzik and Christie Jenkins also fought through the qualifying round to capture the women’s title. Seeded 29th, the team defeated 19th seeds Briana Hinga and Kathrin Winkler 21-12, 21-18 in the championship match. In the semifinals, Lodzik/Jenkins rebounded to upset the top seeded team of Chara Harris and Megan Wallin 11-21, 21-17, 15-10.
Finishing in 3rd place with Harris and Wallin were sixth seeds Amanda Dowdy and Jessica Stubinski. Fifth-place honors went to second seeds Tanya White (Hawthorne)/Sheila Shaw and eighth seeds Heather Lowe (Redondo Beach)/Erin Gray.
The Hermosa Beach West Coast Championships was the third stop for the National Volleyball League. The NVL will conclude its season with a “Best of the Beach” competition in Las Vegas, NV in September.
For more information, visit thenvl.com.