The Manhattan Beach Open returns in all its glory this weekend when the country’s top beach volleyball players compete for a record-setting purse of $200,000 in the longest continuous running event in the sport.
Local standouts Kerri Walsh-Jennings (Manhattan Beach) and Sean Rosenthal (Hermosa Beach) will join fellow Olympians Phil Dalhausser, April Ross, Jen Kessy, Todd Rogers and Jake Gibb along with two-time defending MBO champions Whitney Pavlik and John Hyden in an attempt to have their names enshrined on the Manhattan Beach Pier’s Volleyball Walk of Fame.
Added to this year’s event will be a Legends tournament where greats of the game such as Tim Hovland, Mike Dodd and Sinjin Smith team up with top performing 2013 MBO teams in 4-on-4 competition.
IMG Worldwide has partnered with the City of Manhattan Beach to produce the event which is the second stop on the AVP tour. The MBO officially kicks off Thursday at 3 p.m. when reigning champions Sean Scott (Redondo Beach) and Hyden join Whitney Pavlik (accepting for partner Jenny Kropp who is pregnant with twins and unable to attend this year) as their plaques are dedicated at the Red Carpet Pier Ceremony.
Admission is free to the MBO as competition begins with the Qualifier from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. Main Draw competition takes places Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday’s action begins at 9 a.m. and includes the Legends 4s tournament, semifinal matches and the women’s final at 3 p.m. followed by the men’s title match at 4 p.m.
The $200,000 purse is the largest ever at the MBO which began in 1960. Championship matches will air live on CBS Sports Network.
The first AVP tournament of the season took place last weekend at Salt Lake City, Utah where many South Bay residents were among the top finishers.
The top-seeded men’s team of Sean Rosenthal (Hermosa Beach) and Phil Dalhausser defeated third-seeded Ryan Doherty and Todd Rogers 21-12, 19-21, 15-10 to claim the winner’s check of $15,000.
Tying for 7th place were the teams of Casey Jennings (Manhattan Beach)/Stafford Slick (Hermosa Beach) and Avery Drost (Redondo Beach)/Will Montgomery.
The women’s competition was also won by the top seeded team when Jennifer Kessy and April Ross defeated Hermosa Beach residents Lauren Fendrick and Brittany Hochevar 20-22, 21-18, 15-13.
Tying for 3rd place were the third-seeded team of Brooke Sweat (Hermosa Beach)/Jennifer Fopma and the eighth seeded duo of Tealle Hunkus (El Segundo)/Christal Engle.
Kessy and Ross knocked off second-seeded Kerri Walsh Jennings (Manhattan Beach) and Whitney Pavlik 23-25, 21-17, 17-15 in the fourth round. Walsh Jennings and Pavlik tied for 5th with Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach) and Heather Hughes, who battled their way through the qualifying rounds to earn the 12th seed.
The Redondo Beach team of Angie Akers and Pricilla Lima finished 7th
For more information, visit avp.com or themanhattanbeachopen.com.