Pan American Games Qualifier

USAV Pan American Games Qualifier Off to Windy Start

Miles Evans-Billy Kolinske-p1440

MANHATTAN BEACH – On a blustery day in Manhattan Beach, the USA Volleyball Pan American Games qualifier did bear a passing resemblance to professional volleyball, though the more accurate descriptor may have been “just do whatever it takes to keep the ball off the ground” volleyball.

It was not pretty on Tuesday, nor did it have to be. It’s the type of weather in which ball-control oriented teams like Katie Spieler and Kim DiCello and Karissa Cook and Jace Pardon thrive.

Some thrived. Some struggled. All grinded, and almost all, anyway, made it to the elimination rounds on Wednesday.

Cook and Pardon, predictably, in their uber-controlled style of play that took them to their first AVP title in Austin just two days ago, won both pool play matches, over Jade Hayes and Kirsten Overton and Emily Reinking and Lacey Fuller. DiCello and Spieler, too, won both, as did a fun collegiate pair in Charlie Ekstrom of Stanford and Brook Bauer of Pepperdine.

The two beat Heather Boyan and Kristen Petrasic and Stanford’s Sunny Villapando and Courtney Bowen.

On the men’s side, Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske won over Tim Brewster and Mike Boag and Christian Honer and Logan Webber, while Mark Burik and Ian Satterfield sky-balled their way to a trio of wins over Miles and Marcus Partain, Travis Mewhirter and Kyle Friend, and Kris Johnson and Chris Austin.

Tomorrow’s single elimination portion will begin at 8 a.m. for the women’s side. Pardon and Cook will play Boyan and Petrasic on the top end of the bracket, to play into the winner of Bowen and Villapando vs. Peri Brennan and Olivia Bakos.

Ekstrom and Bauer will play Hayes and Overton, to play into the winner of DiCello-Spieler vs. Reinking-Fuller.

For the men, both Burik-Satterfield and Evans-Kolinske received byes. Playing in the quarterfinals at 8:50 is Christian Honer and Logan Webber vs. the Partains and Boag-Brewster vs. Mewhirter-Friend.

Only one team from either gender will qualify for the Pan American Games, which will be held in Lima, Peru, on July 26-August 11. There will be 423 events across 39 sports played, in a Games that will feature 41 nations competing. The only trouble is that it interferes with AVP Hermosa, which is held on the last weekend of July, a major factor for why many of the top teams sat out.