Of the 12 teams left in Sunday’s AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach, Molly Turner and Maddie Anderson stand out as, well, painful seeds.
Note that the men’s side has seeds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 left.
The women’s numbers include Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Turner and Anderson who are ranked 16th.
They deserved it. They won three times in Thursday’s qualifiers to get into Friday’s main draw.
But on Friday they were quickly dispatched in twos by the top seeded Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes.
Turner, a 26-year-old 5ft 8cm who was cut from the school’s indoor team and headed to the beach, played at the Grand Canyon. Anderson, just 2 feet tall, just 21, just finished her junior season in a red jersey, playing at court #1 in the state of Florida. They had a job cut for them.
First, it is worth noting that from March 21, when Travis Mewhirter wrote our article on players to watch this AVP season. Here’s what he said about Maddie Anderson:
If I had to throw all my chips into one basket this season, I’d back up the truck and bet every last penny on Maddie Anderson. Three years from now – including the 2020 season cut short by COVID – he is 85-21 in the state of Florida. In three professional events last summer with Molly Turner, she won gold in Futures outside of qualifying, qualified for the Dubai Challenge and then won silver in the following Challenge in Dubai. When he graduates from Florida, he will be teaming up again with Turner, who will be my dark horse team to win the AVP this season.
Which brings us to Saturday when Turner and Anderson began their charge.
They went three-in to dislodge Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn, knocked out sixth seeds Hailey Harward and Kelley Kolinske 22-20, 23-21, then recaptured 10th seeds Deahna Kraft and Zana Muno 22-20, 21-16.
“Despite receiving (almost) every pass, I’ve never felt so relaxed,” said Turner. “Playing alongside Maddie just feels right. Everything just flows.
“And while we’re losers, I think we’re proving that it won’t last long.”
The first step comes on Sunday morning when Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles from fourth place will face off for the semi-finals. In the second quarter-final match, third-seeded Canadian Olympians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson will take on fifth-seeded Teresa Cannon and Olympian Sarah Sponcil.
Top seed Kelly Cheng and second seed Taryn Koth and Kristen Nuss face off in the semi-finals. Neither pair lost a set on Saturday.
Cheng and Hughes quickly defeated Megan Kraft and Emily Stockman, then routed Flint and Scoles. TKN defeated Kraft and Muno, then went on to win 21-18, 21-14 against Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson, the pair that bounced them away from AVP New Orleans, the final event of the tour. Cheng and Hughes defeated the Canadians in the NO final
While top seeded Olympians Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk – who won in New Orleans – and runners-up Theo Brunner and Trevor Crabb await in the men’s semi-finals, the matches to determine the winner should be exceptional.
Third seeds Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander play fourth seeds Chase Budinger and Miles Evans, while fifth seeds Miles Partain and Andy Benesh play seventh seeds Phil Dalhausser and Avery Drost, who is vying for his first AVP title. Dalhauser only has 62.
Legendary Dalhausser and Drost lost to Brunner and Crabb, but stayed alive with a 21-15, 20-22, 15-12 victory over the 12th seeds. 21, 15-8 beat 6th seed Billy Allen and Troy Field.
Bourne and Schalk won 21-17, 19-21, 18-16 against ninth seeds Tim Bomgren and Paul Lotman before defeating Benesh and Partain 18-21, 21-17, 15-9. Brunner and Crabb made it to the semi-finals with a score of 21-14, 24-22 over Team Taylor.
Matches can be watched on ESPN+, which shows the stadium court, and on the Bally Live app, which shows the other two courts. The action kicks off at 9:00 a.m. PST with the men’s quarterfinals. Women’s matches will begin at 10:05 a.m. PST.
Click here for results, schedule and more: https://avp.com/brackets/