Emily Day, Brittany Hochevar sweep way to semis at Manhattan Beach
Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar may not be the top seed in the Manhattan Beach Open, but they are the defending champions, so they were bound to be hunted.
The No. 2-seeded duo became the hunters Saturday when they defeated sixth-seeded Kim DiCello and Emily Stockman 21-19, 21-18 to advance to Sunday’s semifinals.
DiCello and Stockman were pushed to the contender’s bracket.
Day of Torrance knows everybody is gunning for them.
“Yeah, absolutely,” she said as she sat in the players’ box after the victory. “I mean, there are so many great teams on the AVP tour that it’s always hard to win a tournament, let alone be defending champs and then this is the Manhattan Beach Open, so everyone wants it.
“And, yeah, we know we have a little bit of a target on our backs and so we’ve gotta bring it every match.”
DiCello and Stockman led the second set 7-3. Day and Hochevar ran off four consecutive points to tie the score, and they were off and running. It wasn’t easy, though.
“They made a great adjustment, and that’s what it’s all about, micro adjustments as the match goes on,” said Hochevar, who played her college ball at Long Beach State. “We do a really good job of dialing it in when we need to, closing the gap.
“We can go on runs and I think we’re getting more confident in that and it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”
DiCello and Stockman defeated Day and Hochevar the past two times they played. But Day wasn’t concerned when they were down four points early in that second set.
“I know I have confidence in our team that we can score points,” she said. “And like Brittany said, they made some adjustments and I feel we should have adjusted sooner, but we did figure it out in time.”
Day had 12 kills, seven digs, three blocks and one ace. Hochevar contributed 17 kills, nine digs and two aces.
DiCello, out of Santa Clara, had nine kills and four digs. Stockman, from Colorado Springs, had 11 kills and 13 digs.
Top seed gets by
The top-seeded team of April Ross of Costa Mesa and Lauren Fendrick were taken to three sets in their quarterfinals match with Summer Ross (no relation) and Brooke Sweat before emerging 17-21, 21-17, 16-14. It took some time for the decisive set to be completed as the teams went back and forth during sideout scoring.
The No. 4-seeded team and Geena Urango of Los Alamitos and Angela Bensend were sent to the contender’s bracket Friday, and were eliminated Saturday when they were defeated by 10th-seeded Caitlin Ledoux and Maria Salgado 21-9, 21-15.
The third-seeded team of Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen was defeated by No. 23 Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes in the contender’s bracket, ousting Flint and Larsen. Scores were 21-18, 16-21, 15-12.
The No. 8-seeded team of Lane Carico and Alix Klineman – both of Manhattan Beach – was eliminated by No. 15 Nicole Branagh and Brandie Wilkerson 21-15, 21-12.
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