MANHATTAN BEACH — Apparently, retirement is merely a state of mind for Estancia High product Matt Fuerbringer, who five months after "retiring" from beach volleyball to become an assistant coach with the U.S. men's national indoor team, won the prestigious Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Manhattan Beach Open on Sunday.
Fuerbringer, teamed with Casey Jennings, upset top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal, 21-18, 21-23, 15-12, in an 86-minute final. With the victory, Fuerbringer and Jennings split $20,000.
In the women's event, former UC Irvine standout Whitney Pavlik teamed with Kerri Walsh Jennings to defeat Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat, 22-20, 21-17, in the final. Pavlik and Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, split $20,000.
Also in the men's event, Costa Mesa resident Jake Gibb paired with Casey Patterson to share third place and split $8,500.
Costa Mesa resident Brad Keenan shared ninth place, while former UCI player Will Montgomery earned a share of 17th place, as did Corona del Mar High graduate Jeff Carlson.
Chris Austin, the starting setter in back-to-back NCAA championship final victories for UCI the last two seasons, earned a share of 25th place.
Additional locals performing well in the women's event was Costa Mesa resident and Newport Harbor High product April Ross. Ross teamed with Jennifer Kessy to share third place and split $8,500. Ross and Kessy were the No. 1 seed. Pavlik and Walsh Jennings were seeded No. 2.
Ross and Kessy lost to Fopma and Sweat, 23-21, 21-17, in the semifinals.
Pavlik and Walsh-Jennings topped Lauren Fendrick and Brittany Hochevar, 21-15, 21-16, in their semifinal.
The AVP Tour continues with the Cincinnati Open, which begins Saturday and ends Monday in Ohio.
— From staff reports