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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 12:44 pm | Fair 67º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Beach Volleyball

Former UCSB Standout Theo Brunner Wins AVP Hermosa Open With John Hyden

Theo Brunner came up with two huge blocks during the “freeze rule” in the third set to knot the score and the former UCSB star and partner John Hyden scored two more points to beat Ryan Doherty and Billy Allen in the championship match of the AVP Hermosa Beach Open on Sunday. The match scores were 21-19, 16-21, 16-14.

It was the first AVP title for Brunner and Hyden as a team and only the third tour championship in Brunner’s pro beach volleyball career.

For Hyden, who at 45 is the oldest player to win an AVP Tournament, the title was his 13th on the domestic tour.

The top-seeded Brunner and Hyden split $15,000 for their win.

Doherty and Allen, the No. 3 seeds, had reached match point (14-12), when Brunner made his two big blocks to tie the score.

When a team reaches 14 points in the 15-point third set, the score freezes and the format changes from rallying scoring (a point scored on every play) to side-out scoring, where only the serving team gets a point if it wins the rally.

Hyden scored the 15th point and the championship point came when Doherty was called for a double contact on a set.

Brunner had two blocks and six kills in the third set and Hyden 12 digs and eight kills.

Brunner and Hyden won a three-set semifinal over No. 2 seed Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, 21-16, 18-21, 15-12.

Allen and Doherty advanced to the title match by beating Ed Ratledge and Roberto Rodriguez (22-20, 21-19) in the contender’s bracket final.

The tournament featured the pairing of former Santa Barbara High star Jeremy Casebeer and former UCSB star Eric Fonoimoana, who is now 49.

They won a match on Friday before losing the next two. 

In the women's final, Sara Hughes and Summer Ross outlasted April Ross and Alex Klineman, 19-21, 21-19, 17-15. Like the men's final, the third set went to the freeze rule. The teams went through 23 serves before Hughes and Ross finally closed it out.

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