Locals open AAU beach volleyball season with medals

Youth volleyball players from Manhattan Beach captured 18 medals, including nine gold, as local athletes dominated the AAU Spring Classic held at Dockweiler State Beach. The tournament marked the first of 24 stops on the 2011 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Beach Volleyball Tour.

In boys competition, the U10 division provided a showdown between a pair of Manhattan Beach team as Will Campbell and Jack Walmer bested Jack Crawford and Kyle Johnson for the gold medal.

The Manhattan Beach duo of Luke Grafton and Dane Johnson defeated Niko Forbes (Manhattan Beach) and Sebastian Rodriguez (Hermosa Beach) for the U12 crown.

In the 14U division, Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach) and Trevor Liu (Manhattan Beach) defeated Davis Boehle (Westchester) and Rob Mullahey (Manhattan Beach) for the gold while the Manhattan Beach tandem of Roy McFarland and Casey McGarry took home bronze medals.

Vincent Pizutti, of Redondo Beach, partnered with La Mirada’s Nick Calles to win gold in the 16U age group.

Local female athletes also had a strong showing with Presley Forbes (Manhattan Beach) and Sunny Villapando (Hermosa Beach) defeating Sidney Smith (Palos Verdes Estates) and Harper Goldfarb (Santa Monica) to capture gold medals in the Girls 12U division. Devon Chang (Manhattan Beach) and Milan Stokes (Long Beach) placed third.

In 14U competition, Abril Bustamante (Redondo Beach) and Skylar Caputo (Manhattan Beach) knocked off the Manhattan Beach team of Katie Barkley and Emma Smith to win gold medals. Tiana Clark (Palos Verdes Estates) and Kendall Woirhaye (Huntington Beach) finished third.

Lan Nguyen, of Manhattan Beach, teamed with London Chow (Palm Springs) to capture gold in the 16U divisions.

The following week at the Isadore B. Dockweiler Open, Dane Johnson teamed with Jevan Coronado, of West Covina, to capture the boys 12U gold medal. Forbes and Rodriguez were runners-up for the second consecutive tournament while Max Cajuste (Manhattan Beach) and Ian Pizutti (Redondo Beach) took home bronze medals.

After finishing third in the Spring Classic, McFarland and McGarry took top honors in the 14U competition, defeating the Manhattan Beach duo of Cole Anderson and Kyle Grafton. The Hermosa Beach tandem of Sam Caldwell and Tanner Smith placed third.

Manhattan Beach girls swept the 10U competition, won by Lindsey Kelly and Ivy Stevens who defeated Piper Stevens and Lulu Yu. Bronze medalists were Jacqueline Kortekaas and Sammy Underwood.

Winning their second straight title in the girls 12U division were Forbes and Villapando who beat Lauren Kelly (Manhattan Beach) and Leana Jacobs (Gardena). Smith and Goldfarb dropped down one spot from the previous week.

The AAU Junior Beach Volleyball Program began in 1994 through the original dedicated Southern Pacific Beach Volleyball committee of Gino Grajeda, Denny Lennon and Joe Tindall with the first national championships in San Pedro at Cabrillo Beach.

Since the 1994 National Championships, the championships have evolved into a local, regional and national tour with events held in conjunction with the AVP, WPVA, BVA and the AAU Junior Olympic Games. National Championship sites have also included: Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach.

The next local AAU event is the Easter Classic where boys and girls in U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 divisions compete beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 23 at Dockweiler State Beach, 12505 Vista Del Mar. Fees are $60 per event.

For more information or to register, visit www.aaubeach.org or contact Gino Grajeda, ggrajeda181@msn.com. ER

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Article source: http://www.easyreadernews.com/24984/aau-beach-volleyball/

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