Defending champs knocked out
VAIL ” “Show no mercy” was the motto for Chris Seifert and Riley Salmon on Sunday.
The two won the Men’s Open division of the King of the Mountain volleyball tournament, defeating two-time defending tournament champs Ryan Post and Jamey Martin, 21-5, 21-14.
Post, a former Vail resident who now lives in Aurora and has a 15-year history with King of the Mountain, which completed its 33rd season Sunday, was in such great pain that he could hardly walk after the finals were over.
In a hot day filled with four games, Post developed progressively dehabilitating knee aches, and Salmon and Seifert went in for the kill.
“He has a knee problem,” said Seifert, who, along with Salmon, plays on the U.S. national indoor volleyball team. “It kind of showed. We picked on him and just made him win the match because his partner looked pretty spry. Show no mercy.”
Post, despite his resulting hobble, took the loss in stride.
“I’d do it too if I knew one of them was hurt,” he said. “I knew it was coming. Unfortunately, when you don’t have two good legs to jump off of, all I can do is apologize to Jamey.”
Post said last weekend’s fields proved to be one of the most competitive he’s ever been up against during his lengthy history with the tournament.
“This has got to be one of the strongest fields I’ve seen in a long time,” he said. “It stinks when I can’t move and I can’t chase balls down. But, it’s always nice when you get these guys who usually don’t come up here to play and they make it to the finals and they take it all serious.”
Since Seifert and Salmon were given strict orders not to hurt themselves while taking a break before heading to some intensive training at the Olympic facility in Colorado Springs, followed by the America’s Cup tournament in Brazil next month, taking it seriously is about all they’re built for.
“This is probably my first big beach volleyball win,” said Seifert, who hails from Laguna Beach, Calif. “It’s special to me because it’s with Riley ” one of my best friends ” and it just feels really good. Have fun; no injuries ” that was the No. 1 goal. The No. 2 was winning. So, we accomplished our goals.”
“It’s different,” Salmon said of beach volleyball versus indoor. “It’s a great group of guys, even though they’re heckling us. You don’t get that all the time indoors. It’s a lot more gratifying when you’re out there battling with your buddy and you play real well.”
Women’s defending champs also beaten
The only piece of King of the Mountain missing for Dian Pascua and Paige Davis was a set of lungs to go with the altitude.
Pascua and Davis, both from San Diego, conquered defending champions Krista Swartzendruber and Angela Knopf, 23-21, 21-16, in the Women’s Open finals Sunday.
“I love the sand, I love the scenery, but if we had even a small rally … geez,” said Davis, who played Division I indoor volleyball at the University of Virginia and is training for AVP.
“Yeah, you’re dying,” agreed Pascua, who is an AVP pro. “You just feel like you’re not in shape up here. It’s the elevation. We were hanging our heads after every point because we were so tired. It’s gorgeous though ” probably the most beautiful place I’ve played. I mean, most of the places we play are on the beach, next to the waves, but … goodness.”
Pascua and Davis, who compete three or four times a week in California, entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed. They faced Swartzendruber and Knopf in the quarterfinals Sunday, where their opponents didn’t put up the fight they did in the finals.
“They definitely changed their game,” Davis said. “They picked it up. They served me every ball the first match, but this time, they served to Dian. We had to adjust. It was a very smart move on their part.”
The champions said the best run for their money all weekend came in the match against Dawn Tischauser and Ingrid Rooslid, who were undefeated until Davis and Pascua edged them out in the semifinals.
“Both teams we played today could easily play in some of the tournaments in California and do really well,” Pascua said. “We were running around all over the place all day.”
Prater family cleans house
After winning Friday’s co-ed division with her father, Carbondale’s April Prater went on to win the King of the Mountain women’s A division Sunday with partner Kari Bassey of Lyons. Prater entered the women’s tournament after she found Bassey via an announcement on the loud speaker following the co-ed finals.
Chris Powers and Desi Vital won the men’s A finals Sunday while Broomfield’s Medel Quizon and Sam Kaneta won the BB championship. Ricardo Sanchez and J. Starrett took the men’s B title, while Front Rangers Merry Balson and Kathy Curley took the women’s BB trophy.
April’s younger brother Alan Prater, along with partner Brendon Right of Gypsum, won the U-16 junior boy’s championship while fellow Coloradoans Land Hoagland and John Cortez won the U-14 trophy.
On the girl’s side, the winners of all divisions qualified for the Junior Beach National Championships, held in Hermosa Beach, Calif., July 21-13.
Sisters Ali and Caitlin Risk won the girl’s U-18 title, while Pueblo residents Jenica Shippy and Mallory Deneen won U-16. Claire Patten of Louisville and Michaela Luna of Denver took the girl’s U-14 title.
In the father-son tournament, U.S. national beach volleyball team coach John Kessel won with his 12-year-old son, Cody. In the father-daughter competition, Mark and Heather Lozano were winners in the U-18 category and Rodel and Lauren Allego won in the U-16 category.
Sports Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or firstname.lastname@example.org.