In men's play, upsets are the norm heading into Nestea's last day

June 26, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Some explained that the top seeds are getting worn down. Others said that players are just getting more confident against seeded players.

Whatever the reason, the parity in men's beach volleyball became obvious in yesterday's opening rounds of the double-elimination Nestea Open at the HarborView Marina and Yacht Club.

Only four of the nine seeded teams advanced past the second round in the winners' bracket, but not the top-seeded duo of Randy Stoklos and Adam Johnson.

For the second straight week as the top seed, Stoklos and Johnson did not win their first match in a tournament. Jimmy Nichols and Mark Kerins handled Stoklos and Johnson with a 15-9 victory, setting off a string of upsets and placing more seeded teams in the losers' bracket after the second round.

Stoklos said before the tournament that he prefers first-round games to receiving a bye. That gets him more stretched out for the better competition in the coming matches. But as the top seed, he automatically qualified for the second round yesterday.

"It was like I said a couple days ago, I can't warm up in 10 minutes," Stoklos said. "At 33 years of age and 16 years on the tour, I just can't do it. I knew it was bound to happen.

"I don't think that the teams are getting more confident. It's the better teams getting burned out."

Stoklos and Johnson never gained control of the match, allowing Nichols and Kerins to score points in clusters. When Stoklos and Johnson did regain the serve, they couldn't score consistently.

"We played them last week and didn't lose that much," Kerins said. "We were more confident this week that we could beat them."

They weren't the only team feeling confident against the top teams. In the five upsets in the second round, the average margin of victory was six points.

This is the tour's 15th of 27 stops, and this trend of upsets is not uncommon.

"It's just a matter that these other teams are more confident now," said Mike Whitmarsh, who is seeded second with partner Mike Dodd. "You want to be getting better by midseason, but it is hard not to be tired."

Whitmarsh and Dodd were one of the few seeded teams to stay in the winners' bracket, barely defeating Pat Powers and Albert Hannemann, 12-11.

With the score tied at 11 and the game clock under eight seconds, Dodd spiked the ball cross-court. Powers went to his knees for the dig as the ball went to his left and landed out of bounds.

The official ruled that Powers had touched the ball before it went out of bounds to give Whitmarsh and Dodd a 12-11 victory. Powers yelled at the official, kicked the ball onto Key Highway and ripped a piece of the net to dispute that he had touched the ball.

"I saw and heard him touch the ball," Whitmarsh said. "It's a tough call to make in that situation."

In the winners' semifinal bracket, No. 9 Jeff Rodgers-Bill Boullianne faces No. 5 Scott Ayakatubby and Dodd-Whitmarsh takes on No. 3 Brent Frohoff-Ricci Luyties. Both games begin at 9 a.m. today.

The winner from that group plays the winner from the losers' bracket for the championship at 3 p.m.

On the women's side, the top-seeded team of Nancy Reno and Angela Rock fared better than their male counterparts, breezing into the championship game by going 2-0. They await the winner of the losers' bracket for a 12:30 p.m. title game.

at HarborView Winners' bracket


Dodd/Whitmarsh def. Hannemann/Powers, 12-11. Frohoff/Luyties def. Martin/Young, 15-6. Ayakatubby/Fonoimoana def. Foust/Gatzke, 15-11.

Boullianne/Rodgers def. Kireans/Nichols, 15-8.


Reno/Rock def. Ciarelli/McPeak, 15-12. Chisholm/Hanley def. Pires/Silva, 15-9. Crockett/Dodd def. Hilleary/Keller, 15-12.


Men and women's quarterfinals, 9 a.m.

Women's finals, 12:30 p.m.

$ Men's finals, 4 p.m.

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