AVP Seattle

AVP Seattle: Last-Second Partnership of Jacobs-Priddy Paying Off

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On Thursday afternoon, Bobby Jacobs sat on a bench, fully relaxed, watching the scene before him, the scene that’s typically the one in which he’s involved but this weekend was able to simply watch.

Pays off, he said, to not register with anyone.

He said it jokingly, but indeed it seems it does sometimes. After registration had closed for AVP Seattle, Theo Brunner pulled out, playing it safe with a balky calf that continues to nag him. It left Reid Priddy, Brunner’s typical partner, without a blocker. Jacobs is a regular in Priddy’s training groups in Huntington. Jacobs wasn’t signed up with anyone. Priddy wouldn’t be splitting up any partnerships in scooping Jacobs and, hey, why not?

Jacobs had proven to be a solid blocker over the previous few seasons. He qualified in Hermosa Beach in 2017 and then made main draw in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach in 2018.

Now, in Seattle, his second event of the season, he’s sitting on a fifth, after he and Priddy won both matches on Friday over Billy Allen and Stafford Slick and Troy Field and Tim Bomgren.

Hell, Jacobs had bested his previous career finish of 17th just by showing up to Lake Sammamish. Now he’s one win away, against Jeremy Casebeer and Chaim Schalk in Saturday’s quarterfinals, from making a Sunday.

“Coming into today, my biggest fear was going 0 and 2 and letting Reid down after being given this awesome opportunity,” Jacobs said. “He’s such a great dude and so encouraging. It made today a day I’ll never forget.”

It did not hurt, of course, that Priddy recorded nine aces in a three-set win over Field and Bomgren. But it’s also a credit to Jacobs that he picked up four blocks and 20 kills and didn’t miss a serve the entire match, allowing for Priddy to have a full green light from the service line.

“The freeze has always been my biggest enemy,” Jacobs said. “Both matches we won with just staying in the freeze for just one play. It saved my life. Let’s just say today has been one of the most amazing days of my life.”

The Jacobs-Priddy team that was thrown together at the last minute was, on Friday, the exception. On the first day of main draw it was the teams with the chemistry that prevailed. Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, Jace Pardon and Karissa Cook, Emily Day and Betsi Flint, and Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman – all teams that have been playing together this entire season, if not longer – made it unscathed to the winner’s quarterfinals on Saturday. On the men’s side, Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb, beneficiaries of an unfortunate calf injury to Ricardo Santos, Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson, and Jeremy Casebeer and Chaim Schalk – also all partnerships that have been together at this the entirety of this season – moved onto the winner’s quarterfinals.

So most of the times, yes, it pays to have a firm partner, a set player to run with. And, sometimes, in the case of Bobby Jacobs, it pays not to register at all.

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