Second-seeded Kessy and Ross Claim First Domestic Women's Title as a Team
HOUSTON - Olympic gold medalists and top seeds Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers took home their third title of the 2009 season at the AVP Crocs Tour Houston Open Presented by Warehouse Pool Supply. On the women's side, second-seeded Jennifer Kessy and April Ross took home their first domestic title as a team.
Kessy and Ross defeated top seeds and 2008 Beijing Olympians Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs 21-17, 18-21, 15-12 to claim their long-awaited first title. Prior to this win, Kessy and Ross were 0-9 in AVP Crocs Tour finals, though they have three victories on the international circuit.
"We knew it would happen, we just had to be patient," said Kessy. "This was a big win against one of our biggest competitors in the entire world."
Going into Sunday's final, Branagh and Youngs had maintained a 19-match win streak, and had yet to drop a match in the 2009 season.
"We expect to play [Branagh and Youngs] in the final," said Ross, who had six of the team's seven ace serves. "If we had beaten another team, it might not have been as gratifying."
Kessy and Ross took out former University of Texas volleyball player Carrie Dodd and partner Dianne DeNecochea in the semifinal, 21-19, 21-16, while Branagh and Youngs defeated fifth-seeded Lisa Rutledge and Brooke Hanson 21-11, 22-20 to advance to Sunday's final.
Top seeds Dalhausser and Rogers defeated fourth-seeded John Hyden and Sean Scott, 21-13, 21-17 in the men's final and defeated eighth-seeded Anthony Medel and Hans Stolfus 21-17, 21-18 to advance to that game. Hyden and Scott advanced by upsetting No. 2 seeds Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal 21-14, 21-18.
With Sunday's win, Dalhausser and Rogers became the fifth team in AVP history to surpass $1 million in domestic prize money as a team.
The AVP Crocs Tour Houston Open Presented by Warehouse Pool Supply took place at Westside Tennis Club in Houston, Texas. The AVP Crocs Tour continues May 21-24 in Huntington Beach, Calif. For more information about the AVP, please visit AVP.com.