Friday was a near-perfect day for beach volleyball in Grand Haven, and
the weather forecast says it should stay this way all weekend.
In the winner's bracket, there were only two upsets on Friday,
Holdren/Rogers over Ceman/Clark, and Smith/Wurts over Kerins/Russell.
Since Kerins and Russell won last week's tournament, I'm sure this was
doubly sweet revenge for Andrew Smith, beating his ex-partner Mark
The other six teams left in the winner's bracket, in order of seed are
Loiola/Steffes, Tanner/Whitmarsh, Lewis/Stoklos, Johnson/Kiraly,
Bouillane/Heidger, and Fonoimoana/Ivie. I don't recall any of them
being challenged very strongly in their matches.
Kiraly and Johnson were most impressive with their overall play,
especially at reacting quickly, running balls down, and keeping
everything possible from hitting the sand.
Local favorite Brent Doble, teamed with Albert Hanneman, played a
match on court 4 against Friederichsen/Seligson in front of a very
large crowd. They won it in overtime, in possibly the longest match
of the day, but then may have been too tired an hour later when they
lost 15-2 to Stoklos/Lewis.
(In my opinion, "Midwest Championships" is a terrible misnomer for
this AVP tournament. Michigan is not part of the Midwest. We're in
the Great Lakes region; you have to go west at least to the
Mississippi before you reach the Midwest. How about the "Great Lakes
Championship" next year?)
We went to the Kirby Grill for dinner, and then watched the cruising
parade on the streets of Grand Haven. At the Grill, there were maybe
a dozen of the players, plus some of the staff. The AVP staff there
included Matt Gage and announcer Jim Arrico. Fortunately, Arrico
didn't get into a beer-spilling contest like he did last year.
Players included Karch, A.J., Kent, Jose, Mike W. Scott F., Fonoi,
Brians Ivie and Lewis, and Randy.
The cars on Lake Street and Washington in Grand Haven are really
something, almost like cruising from the American Graffiti era. Some
of the better examples included a 60's Ford Econoline pickup, a purple
customized 1950 Mercury delivery wagon, a new S10 pickup with a
chopped top, a 70's red Eldorado convertible, dozens of Mustangs,
Camaros, and Corvettes of all ages, and on and on. Since it's
Michigan, they were almost all Detroit products, but there was an
amazing Volvo 740 low-rider, a Porsche 935 and a few other foreign
cars. Almost as entertaining as the volleyball.