Rivalries renewed in 31st MotherLode
September 1, 2003
It’s amazing how much can change in a year’s time in the MotherLode Volleyball Classic.
Last year, Glenwood High School graduate Krista Swartzendruber and partner Angela Knopf were seeded last in the women’s open division. This year, Swartzendruber and Knopf, of Troutdale, Ore., are seeded first, and rightly so – they swept the competition last year en route to winning the tournament.
Today, the duo will defend their top seed in the final day of competition in the 31st annual MotherLode. Beach play will begin at 9 a.m. at Koch and Willoughby Park, with the women’s open sand finals occurring at 2 p.m., and the men’s open finals following at 3 p.m.
The grass finals will begin at 9 a.m. at Wagner Park, with an assortment of divisions.
Knopf and Swartzendruber won their first two matches, defeating former college rivals Laura Pilakowski and Lindsay Wischmeier, both from Lincoln, Neb., 21-11, 21-14. Knopf and Swartzendruber played at Colorado State while Pilakowski and Wischmeier competed at Nebraska. Then Knopf and Swartzendruber beat the eighth-seeded Denver team of Gina Kirstein and Tia Self.
Two huge upsets rattled the men’s and women’s open brackets Sunday. Chad Hiner of Kansas City, Mo., and Ivan Mercer of Hermosa Beach, Calif., defeated fifth-seeded Jason Hersey of Denver and Vince Robbins of Aurora, the MotherLode’s top-ranked Colorado beach team. In their next match, however, the 60th-seeded Hiner and Mercer lost to 37th-seeded Nick Pabarcus of San Diego and Adam Renfree of La Jolla, Calif.
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The shocker in women’s open play came via Felicia Sardella of Phoenix, Ariz., and Meride Boyer of San Diego, who posted the only upset of an “elite” eight team in the women’s competition. The pair scored a 21-11, 21-10 win over sixth-seeded Ingrid Rooslid of Albuquerque, N. M., and Kim Applegate of San Diego.
Masters play, which concluded Saturday, was dominated by a husband-wife duo from Houston. Sam Meador and partner Wendy Martin of Tampa, Fla., won the Women’s Masters division, while Sam’s husband, Randy Meador, won the Men’s Masters with his partner Keith Jones of Goodletsville, Tenn. Further strengthening the connection, Jones and Martin have been dating for several years.
Sam Meador played volleyball for the Colorado School of Mines, and has been competing on the beach volleyball circuit for 12 years, but the MotherLode is one of her favorite tournaments.
“I love Aspen, that’s why I come back every year,” she said. “The fans are great, and the venue is great.”
Today, both Meadors will be gunning for the title in the men’s and women’s open, but with different partners. Sam Meador is playing with Julie McGarr, while her husband is teamed with Jonathan Nino.
In other MotherLode competition, four co-ed divisions were determined Friday. Dana Camacho of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Tara Brinkeroff of Hermosa Beach, Calif., won the co-ed open title. John Alvarez and Lori Fuller, both from Dallas, captured the co-ed A crown with Cary Leppert of Golden and Meredith Johnstone of Albuquerque, N.M., winning the co-ed BB championship. James Slie and Britt Slie, both from Bellevue, Neb., snagged the co-ed B title.
The MotherLode Volleyball Classic, which concludes today, has attracted more than 600 teams, making it the top pro-am tournament in the United States, organizers say. Seventy-five men’s and 30 women’s teams competed in the open divisions. Competitors from 33 states and Switzerland entered the competition.
Divisional results from the 31st MotherLode Volleyball Classic
1. Dana Camacho and Tara Brinkerhoff of Hermosa Beach, Calif.
2. Skye Gosewisch of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Trish Wade of Wichita, Kan.
3. Lacee Patterson of Aspen and Adam Renfree of La Jolla, Calif.
1. Jonathan Alvarez and Lori Fuller of Dallas
2. Richard and Darcy Arellano of Dallas
3. Steve Harlik and Michelle Krysiak of Wheaton, Ill.
1. Cary Leppert of Golden and Meredith Johnstone of Albuquerque
2. Drew Ginther and Brittney Ray of Colorado Springs
3. Brad Molcany and LeAnne Felton of Denver
1. James and Britt Slie of Bellevue, Neb.
2. Pete Rasmussen of Mountain View, Calif., and Claudia Lozano of Belmont, Calif.
3. Alex and Kim Marske of West Des Moines, Iowa
Men’s Masters (37+)
1. Randy Meador of Houston and Keith Jones of Goodletsville, Tenn.
2. Andrew Cavanaugh and Christian Larson of Santa Barbara, Calif.
3. Chris Hannemann of Seal Beach, Calif., and Chip Hollis of San Diego