BEST OF THE BEACH
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Stein Metzger got vocal during a double-elimination match against Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings at the 2005 AVP Best of the Beach held at Queen's Beach in Waikiki yesterday.
Bad day on the beach
Having a bad day proved disastrous for local players at yesterday's AVP Best of the Beach, as the first- and third-seeded teams were eliminated at Queen's Beach.
Top-seeded Jake Gibb and Stein Metzger and third-seeded Karch Kiraly and Mike Lambert suffered early exits from the double-elimination tournament. Second-seeded Todd Rogers and Sean Scott split their matches, while eighth-seeded Mark Williams and Scott Wong went 2-0.
Metzger, Lambert, Scott and Wong all prepped at Punahou. The top eight men's and women's teams on the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour were invited to the season's final tournament.
"It definitely wasn't clicking," Metzger said. "All day today I was having trouble passing and in turn Jake was having trouble setting, so we had a hard time siding out."
Gibb and Metzger were upset by Williams and Wong in the morning, losing 21-19, 21-19. The top-seeded team was then dropped by fourth-seeded Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings 21-15, 22-20 to exit the tournament.
"We had trouble with my sideout," Metzger said. "We didn't score like we usually do. We usually have an easy time with that team (Williams and Wong). They also played really well. Both of these teams played really well, which didn't help."
Metzger said one factor in their performance was the lack of practice time. He has been back in Hawaii for two weeks, limiting the amount of training leading up to the Best of the Beach.
"I don't think we practiced enough lately," Metzger said. "We put a lot of energy into finishing No. 1 this year and I think we took this lightly. It definitely showed. If I had a chance to do it over again, I would change that."
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Scott Wong teamed with Mark Williams to defeat Sean Rosenthal and Larry Witt and advance to today's semifinals at the 2005 AVP Best of the Beach at Queen's Beach in Waikiki.
Williams and Wong advanced to today's semifinals with a 21-17, 18-21, 15-12 win over fifth-seeded Sean Rosenthal and Larry Witt. Tied at 9 in Game 3, Williams and Wong scored three straight points to lead 12-9. Rosenthal and Witt closed to 13-11, but Wong closed the match with two more kills as his team never trailed in the final set.
"We just wanted to come and play solid ball and we did that," Wong said. "Stein and Jake are a great team and it was a good match and a close match. Mark and I have been working on things through the year and things are starting to click. Just a couple points here and there."
Williams and Wong had some big blocks down the stretch and help from Wong's brother Kevin, who is also on the AVP tour and was helping out from the sidelines.
"He reads the game very well and he's been helping us," Scott Wong said. "It's a reason for a part of our success. He's been able to help us out and go into the match with pretty good strategy."
Rogers and Scott were upset by sixth-seeded Dax Holdren and Jeff Nygaard 20-22, 21-17, 15-11 and play in an elimination match today at 9:15 a.m. In Game 2, the match was tied at 10 before Holdren and Nygaard took over and carried the momentum into Game 3. Scott and Rogers trailed 7-4 early into the final game and were never able to seize control of the game despite closing the deficit to one twice.
"We just couldn't score and usually the strong point of our game is to block balls and to dig balls and score a lot of points," Scott said. "For whatever reason, we just couldn't."
Kiraly and Lambert's last match at the Best of the Beach could be their final one together. The two might be changing partners for next season and were eliminated by seventh-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena 21-18, 21-15 in 38 minutes.
"I couldn't get any blocks and any run of points," Lambert said. "To end it that way (with Kiraly) is very anticlimactic."
Kiraly, 44, played in the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Olympics and has won more than $3 million in prize money. Lambert, who has been partners with Kiraly for the past two years, said playing with him is "what I imagine a basketball player playing with Michael Jordan feels like."
Top-seeded Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, gold medalists at the Athens Olympics, cruised through both of their matches on the women's side and advanced to today's semifinals. Sixth-seeded Dianne DeNecochea and Tammy Leibl advanced into the other semifinal with a 21-17, 13-21, 15-10 upset of second-seeded Rachel Wacholder and Elaine Youngs.
Elimination matches start today at 8 a.m. and semifinals begin at 11 a.m. The women's final is scheduled for 2 p.m. with the men starting at 3:30 p.m.