May-Treanor hangs tough

Former Newport Harbor High star suffers loss with Branagh, but responds with win to stay alive.

July 17, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Daily Pilot File…)

HERMOSA BEACH — While celebrities tried to play volleyball under the sun on Saturday afternoon, the biggest name in the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Nivea Tour hit the ball behind the main stadium.

Misty May-Treanor went relatively unnoticed while she and her partner, Nicole Branagh, warmed up.

When the likes of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield stopped punching the ball, it was time for May-Treanor and Branagh to swing away. The duo's third match at the Hermosa Beach Open looked like a sure knockout.

Angela Lewis and Priscilla Lima went into the match winless against any team May-Treanor played on. The Newport Harbor High product no longer plays with Kerri Walsh, so Lewis and Lima went in with a fighter's chance.

The two punched their way into today's quarterfinals after rallying from one game down to upset the second-seeded May-Treanor and Branagh, 15-21, 21-17, 17-15. The outcome stunned the crowd.


Keep in mind that Lewis and Lima did not even have their names on one of the scoreboards for the first two games. Only before they forced a decisive third game did someone place "Lewis" and "Lima" up.

Talk about disrespect. Lewis and Lima earned something better, an easier path to today's finale.

If they reach the title match, Lewis and Lima are likely to see former Newport Harbor standout April Ross and her teammate, Jennifer Kessy.

Ross and Kessy advanced to today's quarterfinal match against Angie Akers and Tyra Turner at 9:15 a.m. The top-seeded team, which won its first three matches, is trying to claim a fourth straight victory on the AVP Tour.

Lewis and Lima weren't looking that far ahead. The seventh-seeded team looked elated after greeting May-Treanor and Branagh near the net after the match.

Lewis said their opponents said, "Good job. Good luck" before Lima, who is from Brazil, kissed each player on the cheek.

May-Treanor and Branagh were not in a friendly mood. They decided against talking to reporters afterward.

The two cooled down and walked underneath a huge tent to discuss what just happened. They planned to play three matches Saturday, but a fourth was now on the schedule.

"Errors by us and focus," May-Treanor said were the reasons why they fell apart. "The best we could do is bounce back and win and live to see another day."

May-Treanor and Branagh are still in the hunt. The road gets a lot harder, though.

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