June 10, 2002
Four former UCLA volleyball players won the men's and women's finals Sunday to capture the respective titles in the Hermosa Beach Open at King Harbor.
In the men's championship Albert Hannemann and Jeff Nygaard won a thrilling three-game match against the AVP's top-seeded team of Stein Metzger and Kevin Wong.
In the women's championship, Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeated Barbra Fontana and Dianne DeNecochea.
Hannemann and Nygaard earned their first AVP title by overcoming eight match points in Game 3 to prevail, 18-21, 29-27, 27-25. Game 3 is played to 15 points but must be won by two points. Overall, the pair fought off a total of 13 match points in the final two games. The score was tied 22 times in Game 2, 23 times in Game 3.
"I waited a long time for this," said Hannemann, who won his first open title in 10 seasons and 158 matches. "I would've rather had a blowout for my first win."
The victory also was Nygaard's first on the AVP Tour.
"I'm not going to say we were lucky, but it took a lot of heart for us to win this thing," said Nygaard, who served as the Bruins' volunteer assistant coach in 2002 after a stellar indoor career that included two Olympic berths.
McPeak and Youngs have emerged as the dominant team after winning both tour events this season. Two weeks ago, they won the Huntington Beach Open despite forming their partnership just weeks before the event. In two events, they have lost just one game in 10 AVP matches together. They have defeated Fontana and DeNecochea twice to capture both tour titles this season.
"We were a little bit disappointed with the way we played [at Huntington]," Youngs said. "Holly and I wouldn't be where we're at without being perfectionists."
Both players spent the last two weeks working on their serving and their hitting.
"We had no aces [at Huntington]," Youngs said. "We weren't making people move. We were serving right to them, not getting them in trouble."
On Saturday in their second match, Youngs served six aces in a victory over Pat Keller and Marla O'Hara.
McPeak has won more than 50 professional tournaments in her career. The pair split $17,400.