The King of the Court Crown Series closed out the last stop of their international invitational four-stop series with US teams April Ross / Alix Klineman and Jake Gibb / Taylor Crabb being crowned as Kings and Queens of the Court. In front of a standing-room only stadium of dedicated and boisterous fans, the fast-paced competition created by Netherlands-based company Sportworx brought together the biggest names in beach volleyball from all around the globe as athletes battled for a piece of the $150,000 prize purse and the King of the Court title. The weekend wrapped with a performance by world-renowned DJs Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano from the Netherlands that kept fans dancing through the men’s final. A total of 20 teams per gender were invited to participate in the competition this weekend. Every team was required to work and stay in the game until the very end and called for the utmost endurance. The competition was no less intense than its traditional format counterpart, and no team was safe however much of a lead they kept. Pavan / Humana-Paredes who looked strong all weekend dominated the first round of the Women’s final. However, A. Ross, known for having arguably one of the best serves in the world along, with partner and 2017 AVP Rookie of the Year Klineman maintained their cool composure to stay alive after having zero points for the majority of the round and also took Rounds 2 and 3 by storm. Though Pavan / Humana-Paredes prevented A. Ross and Klineman from ending the final round and kept the Americans at a 14-point freeze for the remaining minutes on the clock, the A-Team was able to clinch the win as King of the Court Queens. "It was amazing to win on my home beach. I’m so stoked to win in front of you guys. The field was so tough out there, that final was ridiculous, the semis were ridiculous - this means a lot to come out on top. Thank you!” said A. Ross. Klineman added, “It's been incredible. Obviously having April as my partner is everything. It was so fun to play against the best competition in the world here today. The crowd was great. Thank you guys for coming out and cheering!" Hughes / S. Ross were the first to be eliminated in Round 1, followed by Agatha / Duda in Round 2.
Though Nico Beeler / Marco Krattiger (SUI) made the finals, Krattiger was forced to forfeit due to an injury and Meeuwsen (NED), who was eliminated yesterday stepped in next to Beeler. Three US teams made the finals including crowd favorites Priddy and Casebeer, Gibb and Ta. Crabb who faced off against his brother Tr. Crabb and partner Bourne, who made his return just last month at the Manhattan Beach Open Presented by Acer after an 18-month hiatus from the AVP Pro Tour due to an autoimmune disease diagnosis. The Spaniards Herrera / Gavira came out with a commanding lead and dominated the first round with 21 points. The Europeans dominated the second round leaving it to the Americans to fight for Round 3 where the lowest scoring team of Casebeer / Priddy got the job done near the end of Round 1, beating out Bourne / Tr. Crabb in Round 2 for their place in the final. Casebeer / Priddy were unable to make it past the second round. Though defending champions Gibb / Crabb barely qualified for the first and second rounds, they proved that a stronger finish counted than a strong start. They found their rhythm in the final round against Meeuwsen / Beeler and Herrera / Gavira and were able to defend their King of the Court title with a comfortable lead over their opponents. “This format is physically demanding but it’s a lot of fun,” said a visibly elated Gibb, a long-time Huntington Beach resident. “The best part about playing on my home turf is hearing people cheer for me and recognizing who those voices belong to. I’m so stoked right now.” Tr. Crabb added, “Anytime you can play the best teams in the world is pretty awesome, and to win two of four stops in its first year is so good. I hope it sticks around.”
1st - Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb (USA)
2nd - Pablo Herrera / Adrian Gavira (ESP)
3rd - Nico Beeler / Robert Meeuwsen (SUI / NED)
1st - April Ross and Alix Klineman (USA)
2nd - Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes (CAN)
3rd - Brittany Howard and Kelly Reeves (USA)