Still, the No. 2 seeds had to use three games to take out the determined Jennings-Fuerbringer duo in the third round, winning, 20-22, 21-17, 15-11.
Jennings and Fuerbringer, the No. 7 seeds, ended up finishing seventh after losing in the contender’s bracket.
Meanwhile, Gibb and Rosenthal had to go another three games to win their quarterfinal match, 21-19, 18-21, 16-14, against John Hyden and Sean Scott. Gibb came up big in the third game. With the score tied, 11-11, Gibb swung the momentum to his team with two huge blocks on Hyden.
However, Scott ended the block party with a kill. Gibb answered with a floater in the corner to grab match point, 14-12. But Hyden and Scott fought off two match points.
Rosenthal recorded a kill for a 15-14 lead and then perhaps fittingly Gibb ended the match with a block on Hyden.
“Huge,” Gibb said of the win. “They beat us last tournament [in Houston] in the semis. It’s a really tough team for us. They’re just really good players. It was a big win.”
Gibb and Rosenthal advance to today’s semifinals. The top seeds and Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers are in the semifinals, too playing on the other side of the bracket.
Ty Loomis, also a Corona del Mar resident and a UC Irvine alumnus, will try to get to the semifinals with his teammate Casey Patterson today. Loomis and Patterson, the No. 12 seeds, face the No. 6-seeded team of Matt Olson and Kevin Wong in the contender’s bracket fourth round with the winner advancing to play against Gibb and Rosenthal.
ROSS ADVANCES TO SEMIS
April Ross, a former Newport Harbor High standout, contends her team is still the same even after winning its first AVP title last week in Houston.