15 PARTNERSHIP CHANGES FOR EVIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF. - With 15 partnership changes among the
top 29 seeded teams, the 10th annual Evian National Championships
has attracted 35 teams here this weekend for the Evian Women's Pro
Beach Volleyball Tour stop at The Pier.
A five-team, five-match qualifier will be played Friday at 8 a.m.
(PDT) to determine the final three seeds in the 32-team main draw.
The Evian National Championships will be played on five sand
volleyball courts south of The Pier with 24 matches in the
championship bracket starting at 12 p.m. Friday.
Thirty-four matches, including two rounds in the championship
bracket and six rounds in the contender's bracket, will be played
Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Four teams advance to Sunday's Olympic
Crossing semi-finals at 9 and 10 a.m. The 12 p.m. championship
match is followed by the third-place match.
The Evian Nationals will be the third Evian Grand Slam event to be
covered by ABC Sports this season with "same-day" coverage of
Sunday's championship match. Mark Jones of Stamford, Conn. and
Maria Barnes of Irvine, Calif., will handle the commentary.
Despite the changes, the top three seeded teams remain intact as
Olympians Barbra Fontana Harris and Linda Hanley head the list of
entries followed by the tandems of Karolyn Kirby/Nancy Reno and
Lisa Arce/Holly McPeak.
Arce and McPeak, the youngest team ever to win an Evian Tour event
together, enter the $100,000 Evian National Championships with two
titles this season after winning last weekend's Evian Invitational
in New York's Central Park.
Winners for the first-time this season at April's Puerto Rico stop,
Arce and McPeak won seven of eight matches in New York, including
a 15-6 win over Fontana Harris and Hanley in the championship match
of the second "major" event on the 1996 Evian Tour schedule.
Fontana Harris and Hanley, who finished fourth in the 1996 Atlanta
Olympic Games along with posting Evian Tour titles in Hermosa
Beach, Calif., Ocean City, Md., and Newport, R. I., defeated Kirby
and Reno 15-12 to advance to the Evian Invitational championship
Four of the changes occurred due to the renewal of the Liz
Masakayan/Angela Rock partnership. Masakayan, who has been
"slowed" the past two season due to knee surgeries, has missed five
events this season.
Masakayan and Rock, who posted seconds together in the first three
events this season, will be teaming for their 19th Evian Tour
event. The pair has posted a 48-32 match mark together with five
final four finishes together.
Major changes feature seven teams playing together for the first-
time this season, including the tandems of Patty Dodd/Christine
Schaefer (No. 5-seeded team), Karrie Poppinga/Deb Richardson (7),
Gail Castro/Gayle Stammer (8), Wendy Fletcher/Ali Wood (11), Marla
O'Hara/Monique Oliver (12), Cammy Ciarelli/Valinda Hilleary (13)
and Nancy Mason/Leanne Schuster (15).
The Dodd/Schaefer, Poppinga/Richardson and O'Hara/Oliver
partnerships are not new as the pairs played together in previous
seasons. Dodd and Schaefer posted a third- and fourth-place
finishes last season in five events together.
Poppinga and Richardson, who had teamed with Castro to tie for
ninth in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, posted a fifth in last
season's Evian Nationals in their only event together. O'Hara and
Oliver had played in five previous events (one events in 1991 and
four in 1990).
With Rock dropping Dodd to team with Masakayan and Schaefer looking
for a partner when Poppinga decided to play with Richardson, Dodd
renewed her partnership with Schaefer. With
Janice Harrer not competing due to neck problems, Stammer and
Castro teamed for the Evian Nationals. O'Hara and Oliver are
coming off a seventh-place finish last weekend in Portugal at a
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship-Series event while
Fletcher and Wood posted a ninth.
Five of the nine players winning Evian National Championships are
in this year's field, including Roque (1990 with Nina Matthies),
Masakayan (1991 with Linda Chisholm, and 1993 and 1994 with Kirby),
Kirby (1992 with Reno, and 1993 and 1994 with Masakayan), McPeak
(1995 with Reno) and Reno (1991 with Kirby and 1995 with McPeak).
McPeak and Reno won the 1995 Evian National Championships by
downing Hanley and Kirby 15-11 in the finals at Huntington Beach.
Fontana Harris and Hanley won the first 1996 "major" title by
defeating Harrer and Stammer 15-11 in Ocean City June 16. Here are
the seedings for the 10th Evian National Championships:
1. Barbra Fontana Harris (86th Evian Tour event), Laguna Beach,
Calif./Linda Hanley (56th), Pacific Palisades, Calif. (11th
Evian Tour event together, three Evian Tour titles together,
$107,775 combined Evian Tour winnings together, 47-17 Evian
Tour match mark together).
2. Karolyn Kirby (119th), Brookline, Mass./Nancy Reno (66th),
Glen Ellyn, Ill. (10th, four titles, $74,932, 39-11).
3. Lisa Arce (38th), Manhattan Beach, Calif./Holly McPeak (65th),
Manhattan Beach, Calif. (5th, two titles, $40,150, 22-3).
4. Liz Masakayan (89th), San Diego/Angela Rock (87th), Carlsbad,
Calif. (19th, $55,988, 48-32).
5. Patty Dodd (101st), El Segundo, Calif./Christine Schaefer
(51st), Florence, Ky. (6th, $16,320, 15-16).
6. Elaine Roque (135th), Malibu, Calif./Dennie Shupryt-Knoop
(117th), Chicago (13th, $43,450, 42-26).
7. Karrie Poppinga (26th), Mililani, Hi./Deb Richardson (108th),
Minneapolis, Minn. (2nd, $2,400, 4-2).
8. Gail Castro (134th), Carlsbad, Calif./Gayle Stammer (116th),
San Antonio, Tex. (1st).
9. Krista Blomquist (50th), Branford, Conn./Danalee Bragado
(35th), Honolulu, Hi. (3rd, $7,900, 9-5).
10. Marie Andersson (86th), Hawthorne, Calif./Pat Keller (63rd),
Sarasota, Fla. (12th, $17,938, 30-23)/
11. Wendy Fletcher (77th), Manhattan Beach, Calif./Ali Wood
(68th), Redondo Beach, Calif. (1st).
12. Marla O'Hara (106th), Agoura Hills, Calif./Monique Oliver
(89th), Santa Monica, Calif. (6th, $2,250, 10-10).
13. Cammy Ciarelli (48th), Huntington Beach, Calif./Valinda
Hilleary (45th), Littleton, Colo. (1st).
14. Jackie Campbell (109th), Santa Barbara, Calif./Lynda Johnson
(14th), San Diego (4th, $3,550, 7-6).
15. Nancy Mason (16th), Belleville, Ill./Leanne Schuster (21st),
Mesa, Ariz. (1st).
16. Julia Celotto (27th), Eureka, Calif./Veronica Sanchez (19th),
Santa Monica, Calif. (5th, $4,450, 8-8).
17. Marsha Miller (13th), Henrietta, N. Y./Darina Staneva (15th),
Las Vegas, Nev. (9th, $5,212, 11-16).
18. Alissa Lund (23rd), El Segundo, Calif./Jen Wrightson (8th),
San Diego, Calif. (1st).
19. Erin Deiters (54th), Green Bay, Wisc./Liz Pagano (31st),
Seattle, Wash. (2nd, 0-2).
20. Evelyn Conley (83rd), Hermosa Beach, Calif./Beth Schuler
(28th), Raleigh, N. C. (1st).
21. Mary Baily (41st), Calabasas, Calif./Shaney Fink (8th),
Northridge, Calif. (7th, $800, 5-12).
22. Jackie Auzias de Turenne (28th), Raleigh, N. C./Michelle Morse
(23rd), Fort Rucker, Ala. (3rd, 1-4).
23. Alicia Chung (12th), Capitola, Calif./Shana Wilson (9th), Los
Angeles, Calif. (8th, $1,500, 4-14).
24. Kristi Atkinson (51st), San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Lael
Perlstrom-Fresenius (13th), Laguna Beach, Calif. (1st).
25. Ana Franca (6th), Santa Barbara, Calif./Rhonda Kottke (15th),
Minneapolis, Minn. (4th, $1,350, 4-6).
26. Stacy Kammes (10th), Winfield, Ill./Amy Peistrup-Matthews
(14th), Gurnee, Ill. (10th, $600, 2-18).
27. Julie James (7th), Houston/Jeannette Kollasch (14th),
Palatine, Ill. (3rd, 1-4).
28. Barbara Belding (27th), San Francisco/Sharma Grant (4th), Van
Nuys, Calif. (1st).
29. Laurie Ruser (9th), San Diego/Julie Sprague (4th), Walnut
Creek, Calif. (2nd, 1-2).
30. Shannon Misek (10th), Littleton, Colo./Gina Pillitiere (15th),
Huntington Beach, Calif. (8th, 1-10).
31. Samantha Meador (7th), Houston/Monica Holmes (5th), Altadena,
32. Wendy Martin (5th), Antioch, Tenn./Teri Van*** (5th),
Nashville, Tenn. (5th, 0-4).
33. Connie Gibbon (41st), Tucson, Ariz./Kathy Ross (5th),
Carlsbad, Calif. (5th, $100, 0-4).
34. Caron Janc (26th), San Diego/Carolyn McDonald (3rd), San Diego
35. Debbie Gardinier (1st), Huntington Beach, Calif./Teresa Knuff
(1st), Huntington Beach, Calif. (1st).