Gibb ready for HB

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Costa Mesa resident, who has finished second twice in a row, is among several locals in AVP tournament.

May 03, 2007|By Soraya Nadia McDonald

Costa Mesa resident Jake Gibb and his volleyball partner, Sean Rosenthal, are trying to prevent a couple of disappointing tournament finishes from morphing into a full-blown streak.

Gibb and Rosenthal have finished as tournament runners-up to Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser twice this season during the Assn. Of Volleyball Professionals Cuervo Gold Crown Series.

Gibb and Rosenthal will be competing in the Huntington Beach Open, which begins Thursday with qualifiers. It's the last tournament of the Cuervo series, and the stakes are higher than usual.


Each winner in the series will get a $100,000 bonus in addition to the tournament purse, and it's Gibb and Rosenthal's last chance to earn the largest winners' check in AVP history.

Rogers and Dalhausser won the Dallas Open 21-14, 21-16 and Miami Open last month.

Gibb scoffed at the notion that Rogers and Dalhausser could be kryptonite to his team. "We've almost had them," Gibb said. "Any team can surprise another team. It's not like they're untouchable."

In an effort to glean what he can from 47-year-old volleyball legend Karch Kiraly before his retirement tour ends, Gibb has been attending Kiraly's matches.

"He's a guy you find yourself emulating. You watch everything he does and try to incorporate it in your game," Gibb said. "If you want to learn how to do something right, you learn it from him. We would all like to see him play forever, but I don't think his body is going to let him."

Despite not playing well, Gibb and Rosenthal have still been making it to the final round of competition. Gibb saw some promise since the pair is still in the running for the Cuervo bonus, but remained displeased.

"This year we have yet to play our best volleyball," Gibb said. "We don't have any business to be doing what we are doing. We have to play a lot better, a lot better, if we're going to win an event this weekend."

Mike Lambert of Costa Mesa, and Matt Fuerbringer, an Estancia High product, will also play this weekend.

Newport Harbor graduate Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh will be competing after defeating Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs at the Dallas Open, 21-14, 21-19. May-Treanor and Walsh, the four-time AVP Team of the Year, lost to Branagh and Youngs in the final round in Miami.

April Ross, who also went to Newport Harbor, is in the tournament too.

SORAYA NADIA MCDONALD may be reached at (714) 966-4613.

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