Denver teams dominate Women’s Open
Denver-area teams owned Women’s Open division play at the 33rd MotherLode Volleyball Classic Sunday. The four teams in the quarterfinals of the winners bracket all had ties to Denver. Leading the way was the second-seeded duo of Dawn Tischauser and Ingrid Rooslid. Tischauser, a budget finance officer at the University of Denver, has finished second at the MotherLode twice.”The MotherLode is a great way to wrap up the summer and see people from all over this country,” Tischauser said at Koch Lumber Park Sunday. “It is the toughest tournament in Colorado.” Rooslid and Tischauser beat Amy Tollefson and Shellie Ouldhouse, 27-25, in the first round, then downed Jenee Gilliam and Shayla Glendenning, 21-18, 21-12, in round two. The pair’s third-round match against seventh-seeded Melissa Karwowski and Wendy Martin was a dogfight, with Tischauser and Rooslid losing the first game, 21-23, before rebounding to win two straight, 22-20, 15-13. The three-game match took an hour and five minutes to complete.
Also from the Denver area, sixth-seeded Deborah Ponis and partner Carrie Wright went 3-0 Saturday to advance to the winners’ quarterfinals.Ponis, who has played on the AVP for several years, calls Arvada home, as does Wright. Despite wanting to play in the MotherLode since she was in high school, Ponis is making her first appearance at the end-of-summer classic this year.In a first-round matchup against Vanessa Shields and Bianca Peigler, the Arvada duo won, 25-14. Ponis and Wright then dropped Vicki Joyce and Kirsten Walker, 21-9, 21-17, to earn a third-round showdown against Felicia Sardella and Meri’de Boyer.The match went to a 15-point tiebreaker after Sardella and Boyer won the first game, 22-20, and Ponis and Wright took the second game, 21-16. Ponis and Wright squeaked past their opposition for the win in the deciding game, 16-14.Also undefeated Saturday was the fourth-seeded team of Angela Knopf and Leilani Kamahoahoa. Knopf, who hails from Fort Collins, won the MotherLode Women’s Open two years ago with Glenwood Springs’ Krista Swartzendruber. Knopf and Swartzendruber’s repeat bid fell short last year as the pair lost to eventual champions, Gina Kirstein and Nicki Fusco, and finished fifth.
On Saturday, Knopf and her new partner, Kamahoahoa, beat Brandi Travess and Ariana Greer, 25-13, in the first round, then took care of Sandy Matthes and Jeanette Kelder, 21-18, 21-11, in the second round. A win over Jenny Janszen and Tia Self in the third round, 21-16, 21-18, made Knopf and Kamahoahoa the third team to advance to a quarterfinal in the winners bracket.The biggest surprise Sunday came from the fourth team to qualify for the quarterfinals in the winners bracket, unseeded Pamela Lubben and Kris Bredehoft.Lubben, who hails from Broomfield and is a database administrator for Wild Oats, has been playing volleyball for only five years. Bredehoft, the head volleyball coach at Golden High School, is a Colorado native. She played at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and has tried to qualify for the AVP at two tournaments this year.In their first-round match, Lubben and Bredehoft outlasted Heather Harr and Lisa Bartels, 27-25. After a second-round win, the duo handled Linn Ahrendt and Carrie Jacobson, 21-16, 21-18, in the third round to remain undefeated.
Men’s OpenIn the 64-team Men’s Open, four teams remain unbeaten, including the second-seeded team of Dave Smith and Dane Pearson.Smith – a runner-up last year in the Men’s Open final – has Denver ties himself, having attended Bear Creek High School, where he played tennis and basketball. He was introduced to volleyball when he was 13 years old and has played at the MotherLode for the past 19 years – the first two years on grass courts, the remaining 17 in the Open. Smith, who now lives in Manhattan Beach, Calif., played 11 seasons on the AVP pro beach tour before this year.Also unbeaten in Men’s Open action are the teams of Ben Shamrokh and Adam Vanoort of Minneapolis; Skyler Davis of Rockwell, Texas, and Derek Zimmerman from New Orleans; and Sean Fallowfield of Los Angeles and Keith Jones of Hendersonville, Tenn.Action in the Men’s and Women’s Open concludes today with the final for the women at 3 p.m., followed by the men at 4 p.m.
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