2011 Manhattan Beach Open Champions Earn Second Title and Plaque on “Volleyball Walk of Fame” at the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series

Online PR News – 28-August-2012 – Manhattan Beach, Calif. – Manhattan Beach, Calif. -- The final day of the Manhattan Beach Open concluded with a repeat of history as Jenny Kropp (Hollyglen, Calif.), Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.), John Hyden (Sherman Oaks) and Sean Scott (Redondo Beach) defended their titles, earned the largest piece of the $100,000 prize purse and added their second team plaques to the Manhattan Beach Pier’s “Volleyball Walk of Fame,” which bears the names of the best beach volleyball players of all time over the last 52 years. On Friday, the teams were inducted for their 2011 Manhattan Beach Open victories and sought out for the weekend with one mission in mind – to finish on top again.

The finals started off with an action-packed day, witnessed by the swarms of fans who flowed onto the beach early morning to witness the champions journey through the last rounds before being crowned at the Wimbledon of beach volleyball this afternoon. The final matches kicked off by paying homage to the 2012 London Olympians, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal for their accomplishments. The pair was eliminated out of contention in the Quarterfinals earlier this morning against fifth-seeded team Billy Allen and Matt Prosser.

The intensity of competition coupled with the enthusiastic crowd that overflowed the stadium, fueled the fire for a friendly rivalry between the two Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball champion teams. Between games one and two, fans erupted into a frenzied “wave” that got nearly everyone on their feet.

For the second consecutive year, Pavlik and Kropp defeated Jennifer Fopma at the Manhattan Beach Open finals. Already, the duo has met Fopma and current partner Brooke Sweat at the Hermosa Beach Open last month. Although both teams had a fair shake at the start, the defending champs proved to be the better team today as Kropp’s blocks continuously stuffed those who tried to attack past her and Pavlik’s skillful arch shots down the line were unstoppable. Filled with emotion, both athletes made speeches that thanked their fans and addressed what it was like to play their friends on this world-class stage after defeating their opponents in two sets, 21-17 and 21-16.

“There were a lot of butterflies this weekend and definitely our nerves set in because we wanted this so bad. This is the best place in the world to play and nothing else compares to the Manhattan Beach Open,” said Kropp. “Thank you to our fans for standing by us and helping us get through the weekend.”

“This is the most amazing feeling to have our name on the pier a second time. It couldn’t be better. It hasn’t set in. I can’t even describe it, but we do feel the energy of our fans and to look up and see the stands filled with loud cheers, we can’t help but be fired up too,” said Pavlik. “There is no other tour that compares to this one - this is the granddaddy of them all. It’s always difficult to play against Jenn (Fopma) because we are such good friends but we are twin competitors and we want to win. When we are on the court, we are competitors but when we are off the court, we always are the first to congratulate each other.”

In the Men’s Final, Hyden and Scott dominated over Ryan Doherty and Casey Patterson after battling their way through a challenging pool of talent with the key to their strategy being to serve tough coming out of the gates and to get past the 7’1 blocks of Doherty. Hyden and Scott swept the final in two sets, 21-13 and 21-17.

“We knew that by serving hard, we could lock in some easy points. Ryan is an amazing player for being as new as he is to the game. It’s very impressive,” said Scott, who added his third title and plaque to the Volleyball Walk of Fame.

“This back-to-back victory is even sweeter than the first. We won our way through all of our matches, including the FIVB players and it showed that we are a good team, and that our win last year wasn’t a fluke,” said Hyden.

Patterson and Doherty defeated No. 2 seeded Nick Lucena and Matt Fuerbringer in the semi-finals, who nearly made the London Olympics this year.

Produced by IMG Worldwide, Inc., each tournament of the Jose Cuervo Series will be sanctioned by USA Volleyball (USAV), the governing body of the sport, and will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network. Following the Manhattan Beach Open, the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series will move onto its final stop of the 2012 tour, the Jose Cuervo National Championships in Huntington Beach taking place Sept. 21-23.

Fans who were unable to catch the action in Manhattan Beach this weekend will be able to watch when it airs on Sept. 9 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network.

Detailed information is available at


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