Below is my write up on the Qualifier for St. Pete. I try to give some insite to some of the teams I know with out giving too much away. I broke the Qualifier up into 4 sub brackets with each earning the main draw bid. I will send updates to this blog during the qualifier. You can also follow my twitter handle @jbsouthpaw. go to www.bvbinfo.com for updated brackets.
Q Bracket 1
Avery Drost and Ty Tramblie have drawn the #1 seed, the next highest seeds they could face are Boag/Kohler (#8) and Irons/Lucas (#9). While Drost & Tramblie are the 2 most accomplished individual players in this section of the bracket, they have not competed much together. This year, they played in the FIVB Fizhou, China Qualifier but failed to win a match. There will be plenty of challengers lined up to take their shot against them this week, starting with their 1st match.
They will first play the winners of the 32 &33 seeded teams. I’m picking the 32 seeded team of Joey Cash and Roger Corbitt to win their match up against the cagey veteran Texas team of Alvarez & Dawson.
In the #17 vs. #48 match, the team of JD Christie and Tyler Lesneski seed 17 should win this match up of Florida vs. Texas.
The 16 vs. 49 match up presents the 1st interesting twist, Former AVP Top Ten seed Matt Heath makes an appearance with a Local young and promising player Jordan Hendrick. While Rob Ritche (another good young FL player) and Mike Claman are no push overs and should win this match, if Matt is in decent shape, he and young Hendrick could pull the upset. Going with Ritche/Claman to advance.
The next match up is the #24 seeded Team of Buehring/McCarthy Vs. 41 seed Hunkin/Ta out of California. While Mika Hunkin has skills and plenty of experience I think DB along with McCarthy’s huge block will win this relatively easy.
In the last 1st round match of this section, I am also taking the team higher seeded team to win in 2 sets. The 25th seeded team of Jack Mitchel and Jeff Solar to get by 40 seeded Kwede/Olds.
On to the 2nd round matches in this section:
#1 Drost/Tramblie vs. #32 Cash/Corbitt
I’ll take the #1 seeded team, but this will be a bit closer than what the seeding says. Cash & Corbitt, who both have AVP Main Draw wins under their belts and have been competing regularly this year on the Florida Circuit are no easy out.
#17 Christie/Lesneski vs #16 Claman/Ritchie
These players are familiar with each other as they all play out of Florida, but right now I believe Lesneski is playing some of the best Defense in the state and will lead them to a 2-0 victory.
#24 Buehring/McCarthy vs #9 Irons/Lucas
The 1st match of the AVP season for Irons and Lucas pits these Californians up against a very solid 24 seeded team. To me this is a straight up coin flip, and it came up tails so I’m picking the upset. #24 lives on!
#8 Boag/Kohler vs #25 Mitchell/Solar
Boag & Kohler may be playing the best of the bunch so far this year, getting a couple good finishes in the CBVA tournaments already. They will be pushed right off the bat however, as they should play the 25th seeded team of Jack Mitchel and Jeff Solar, Mitchell/Solar are another pesky Florida team that regularly has high finishes.
3rd round matches
#1 Drost/Tramblie vs. #17 Christie/Lesneski
Next up for Drost/Tramblie should be the team of JD Christie and Tyler Lesneski. Christie/Lesneski also drew the #1 seed last year in the St. Pete Qualifier, bowing out in a tough 3 set match. Both have been playing well this year, and if Avery & Ty aren’t on their game, an upset could happen here. But I’m sticking with chalk, #1s move on.
#8 Boag/Kohler vs #24 Buehring/McCarthy
Boag & Kohler should be able to get by the #24 seeds, don’t know either team well enough to pick an upset here. Michael and Tom move on to face the #1 seed for a chance to get in.
Main Draw play in game #1
#1 Drost/Tramblie vs. #8 Boag/Kohler
Drost & Tramblie find their grove and try to get out of the sun as quick as possible, #1 seeds in 2.
Section 2 of Quali
In this section, you have the #4 seeded team of Brian and Tim Bomgren headlining the bracket along with #5 seeds Hudson Bates and Mark Burik. I am very excited about the Bomgrens’ venture to Florida, this will be my first time seeing them play.
The #28 Back/Murray vs #37 Irizarry/Ramirez match kicks this section off, While Back and Murray are playing pretty well on the Florida circuit I don’t seem them getting by the team of Irizarry & Ramirez.
On to #21 Costa/Rios vs #44 Brister/Smith, in full discloser, I don’t know Brister and Smith two Florida players facing off against 2 Florida players I do know in Luiz & Sergio. I’m going with Costa/Rios to advance.
#20 Z. Davis/Miller vs #45 Coleman/Gordon presents past vs. present, while Allen Coleman was one of the very best setters in Florida, Zach Davis and Nick Miller have some good finishes already this year in Florida. Davis/Miller move on, unfortunately to face Zach’s twin brother.
Last 1st round match is #29 Martyniuk/Somerville vs #36 deAurora/Puentes the #29 seeds list St. Pete as their home, I can not find them competing in any Florida Opens this year. What I do Find is 20 years young Norge Puentes’s name on every tournament list he can enter! Good job Norge finding a solid vetran partner in deAurora. #36 seeds avance.
On to the 2nd round matches in this section:
#5 Bates/Burik vs #37 Irizarry/Ramirez
Coin flip match to start this round off, both Hudson and Mark have main draw experience, but not sure how much either has been playing beach this year. I smell upset here, taking the law firm of Irizarry and Ramirez to move on.
#12 Donahue/Fraser vs #21 Costa/Rios
As the seeds get closer together the picks are harder. Both these teams are solid players, and each of these teams have played with their partners many times. I’m going with the Florida boys in this one, heat could start playing an impact in matches.
#13 N.Davis/Jelks vs #20 Z.Davis/Miller
Speaking of “close” matches, this pits the Davis twins facing off against each other. Kibbee Jelks is a very fun player to watch (along with saying his name). Because I have to pick 1 team, I’m going with the higher seeds, N. Davis/Jelks move on.
#4 Bomgren/Bomgren vs #36 deAurora/Puentes
Bomgren x2 take this in 2.
3rd round matches
#37 Irizarry/Ramirez vs #21 Costa/Rios
I’m going to continue riding the upset pick here. Irizarry/Ramirez move on to play for a chance to get in.
#4 Bomgren/Bomgren vs #13 N.Davis/Jelks
Going by history of the Bomgren boys, I am seeing them move on. Davis and Jelks will battle, and if the Florida heat becomes a factor, the upset could be in reach
Play in game #2
#4 Bomgren/Bomgren vs #37 Irizarry/Ramirez
Going with the established Bomgren and Bomgren here. No reason not to.
The #3 seed leads this next section, and the teams players are 2 I’m looking forward to watching. Trevor and Stevo won a only 1 match together last year in the Main draw. But if you are going to win 1, it might as well be against Dalhausser & Rosenthal, which is what they did in the 1st round of the Huntington Beach AVP last year! Also in this section is the youngest player in the Q, incoming Freshman at Stanford, Kyle Dagostino.
While I have 4 friends in this bracket, I do consider it the “easiest” for the seeds.
#30 Nunns/Salefsky vs. #35, Macklin/Oleson Macklin & Oleson get by the N.C. team.
#19 Colina/Olenchalk vs #46 Coughlin/Roppolo going to take the young team of Coughlin & Roppolo. Not much height in this match. (sorry JJ)
#14 Maarek/Newman vs #51 Brock/Thichenor How much will Newman’s height impact this match? Brock is a decent young player, not familiar with his partner. Maarek is one of the youngest, 20yr old. Taking the Californians in this one. #14 moves on.
#22 Lah/Shimkonis vs #43 Nall/ Reim Brian Reim is stuck on a court with 3 40+ yr olds. He and Steve’s transition setting makes the difference in this against a team that finished 2nd in the AVPNext last weekend. #43 advances, Homer alert!
#27 Cloud/Zaun vs Dagostino/Steele Cloud will lead his young gun over Steele’s young gun. FYI you can also see a Dagostino/Steele pairing on the women’s side of the Q too.
2nd round matches
#3 Crabb/VanderWerp vs #30 Macklin/Oleson
I see quick work done by Crabb & Vanerwerp here. #3 moves on.
#14 Maarek/Newman vs #46 Coughlin Roppolo
Coin flip here, not knowing anything about Maarek & Newman except Newman is 6’9, there are getting the benefit of the doubt over a mid-level Florida Open team.
#11 Gustafson/Iordanov vs #43 Nall/Reim
Knowing all about 1 team and not too much about 1 player has this an indecisive pick for me. Iordanov is a decent player, with good size at the net, just don’t know anything about them. I think a wrong game plan against Nall & Reim will lead to their downfall. Totally homer pick of Nall & Reim moving on.
#6 Hilling/Maghy vs #27 Cloud/Zaun
Both Hilling and Maghy seem to me to have been around for ever, then Mike Maghy is 26, and Hilling is only 21!
Look for them to hold seed and advance.
On to round 3!
#3 Crabb/VanderWerp vs Coughlin Roppolo
Picks before this didn’t really matter, Crabb and VanerWerp move on easy.
#6 Hilling/Maghy vs #43 Nall/Reim
I think this will be a fun match, I’m sticking with chalk though, as Hilling and Maghy take out my Orlando buddies.
Play in game #3
#3 Crabb/VanderWerp vs #6 Hilling/Maghy
Do not see any way Crabb & VanderWerp don’t make it in. next bracket please!
This section of the bracket has some super talent beyond the #2 seeded team of Kolinske & Mesko. Both 7 seed and 10 seeds have a super shot at making it out. Oh, and just for fun, it all starts with Dana Camacho.
#26 seeded Camacho/Randle should roll right through the Machie-Marsh/Marsh duo at #39.
The 23 vs the 42 features a Fl vs. Fl battle, Keith Bowen is one of the nicest guys I’ve met playing in Florida, but I’m not sure they get it done here. #23 moves on to certain doom.
15 seeded Chenoweth/Phipps have made a main draw in the past, and are 2 of Florida’s premier players. Should have no problem with the 50 seeded team of Lee/Schumacher
Lundari and Virkus seeded at 18 take on #47 seeded Leever/Tucker. The 18 seeds should dispatch the oldest man in the Q with relative ease. Lundari/Virkus move on.
In the #31 vs #34 match, I do not know anything about any of these players, so I’m going to pick the team of Benifield/Ragland to move on to be crushed by the 2 seeds.
2nd round match-ups
#7 Cabbage/Toppel vs #26 Camacho/Radde
I see Cabbage & Toppel taking this, unless Toppel is worn out from playing in the PVL tournament and Dana gets his magic going. Could be a fun match to watch.
#10 Moran/S. Van Zwieten vs #23 Bass/Burgess
Moran and Steve VZ will just overpower Bass & Burgess.
#15 Chenoweth/Phipps vs #18 Lunardi/Virkus
Justin will keep Billy fired up, and should tear through the 18 seeds
#2 Kolinske/Mesko vs #34 Benifield/Ragland
Should be quick #2 works fast
#7 Cabbage/Toppel vs #10 Moran/S. Van Zwieten
Should be an excellent game, I’m going with the upset here, #10 moves on
#2 Kolinske/Mesko vs #15 Chenoweth/Phipps
Another fun match, will be front row for this hoping the Florida boys pull off the upset. Kolinske will be the difference here #2 come out on top.
Play in game #4
#2 Kolinske/Mesko vs #10 Moran/S. Van Zwieten
Another match I’m going to love to watch. The 10 seeds will have the crowd behind them, rooting for Florida Beach volleyball royalty in Prince Steve Van Zwieten. If Moran is fit, the 10 seeds pull the upset and knock off the #2 seeds!
On to the Main event!