Chicago, IL —
Defending your title is always something that is tough with the level of competition that is coming to the AVP each year and at the Chicago Open with the top AVP players away playing Internationally it left the title of Chicago wide open, that was until Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger hit the court.
Lambert and Metzger showed that they meant business by sweeping second-seeded John Hyden and Brad Keenan, 21-19, 21-17, in the men’s final Saturday to win the AVP Crocs Tour McDonald’s Chicago Open Presented by Nautica. It was not only their second straight victory in Chicago, but their fourth win this season and their third in the last four events.
We just put ourselves in contention to win the Crocs Cup by having these points and this victory here, Lambert said. That’s a big goal of ours, because we won the Crocs Cup last year. We’re a little behind Phil and Todd now, but with this win, it’s all of a sudden a three-horse race for the Crocs Cup. We’ve put ourselves in the ballgame.
With the score tied at seven in the first game, Keenan rattled off a poke shot and followed that with a serving ace that hit the left-side tape. Two more blocks and another ace gave Hyden-Keenan a working margin.
Following the celebration and the $28,000 check presented to Lambert and Metzger, fans were treated to a 4 on 4 exhibition match featuring former AVP volleyball star Gabrielle Reece who hit the tour out of Florida State University and turned pro in beach volleyball in 1989. FSU inducted Reece into the Florida State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997. Gabby set two still standing school volleyball records in solo blocks (240) and total blocks (747).
In addition to her competition background, Reece has graced the covers of such magazines as Life, Elle, Shape and Women’s Sports & Fitness.
Reece is in the process of releasing workout videos for expecting mothers as well as creating a health web site, www.gotogabby.com.
Unfortunately like her success in the ventures outside of volleyball, her team did not emerge victorious today, but she will will return for the entire month of August for more exhibitions games at the remainder of the AVP Tour events.
Tomorrow the women’s side heats up with Misty May and Kerri Walsh playing internationally, it is another chance for someone to make up ground in the AVP Crocs standings. Play starts at 10:15am, with the finals taking place at 3:00pm.
Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger Showed That They Are Going to Be There at the End for the Title