March 21, 2023
Wilkerson won his first career AVP;  Taylors win ugly

A number of months in the past, Brandie Wilkerson introduced to new assistant coach Dan Waineraich that she wouldn’t be capable of serve. He had tried. He missed. It wasn’t for him. Brazilian Waineraich, who’s at present aiding Marcio Sicoli at Pepperdine and beforehand assisted Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, wouldn’t have had any of that.

“Maintain leaping,” he begged. It would come, and when it does, the world will not be prepared for it.

And so he did.

So how becoming is that when Wilkerson’s first win at AVP Miami got here with a soar down the road from Julia Scoles to a 21-16, 24-22 victory over Scoles and Betsi Flint. it was over. Kind.

Melissa Humana-Paredes leaping into the arms of Brandie Wilkerson/Rick Atwood photograph

“I am very fortunate to have a teammate and a coach who simply says go forward,” Wilkerson mentioned. “When the inexperienced mild comes on, I will go for it.”

This greenlight resulted in 9 aces for the weekend for Wilkerson, who tied for fifth within the event (Flint, who used one of the crucial brutal serving serves on the planet, led all gamers with 14). If he wasn’t scoring factors through ace, he was certain to take action on the internet, the place he blocked 19 assaults, led the sphere and made a powerful begin to defend his 2022 AVP Blocker of the Yr nomination.

“Is he on my facet now?” Humana-Paredes mentioned in January. “Thank God!”

The identical could be mentioned for Wilkerson, as he led the event in excavations with Humana-Paredes 92. They’ve been fairly bold in three tournaments this 12 months, maybe as the most effective defensive crew on the planet. They received two of those tournaments, their worst ending being fifth on the Elite 16 held in Doha, Qatar in February. Final week, they had been topped Queens of the Courtroom by profitable six of the 9 rounds and utterly dominating the court docket within the finals, proving, oh sure, this crew can also be fairly succesful on offense.

“I bear in mind having conversations in Chicago about how Brandie grew to become extra introverted or reserved in school and she or he moved away from that and I used to be extra extroverted and now I am evolving away from that to be extra introverted and extra homely.” Humana-Paredes mentioned in January. “We’re completely different in these methods, and it was attention-grabbing to see how we received away from that and the way we may help one another and observe that in a extremely respectful and loving manner.”

Whether or not it is Humana-Paredes, which provides Wilkerson the inexperienced mild to leap serve – or hand setting, one other new ability he is added this season – or Wilkerson’s adaptation of Humana-Paredes’ character, each tangible and summary content material is there. Produce the alchemy of a crew poised to turn out to be among the finest on the planet.

“I really feel recent,” Humana-Paredes mentioned. I really like Miami. This crowd has been unbelievable all week.”

And after the Queen of the Courtroom victory, they adored Miami in sort, sporting crowns and garish robes in downtown South Seashore. They had been on the town coaching in public courts with each American and worldwide groups to organize for Elite 16, which might be held in Tepic, Mexico. And they are going to be there for just a few extra days earlier than they depart for Mexico, the place they’ll take ninth place in the primary draw.

“It was meant to be,” Wilkerson mentioned. “It is good timing and we find it irresistible and it exhibits.”

Earlier on Sunday, Wilkerson and seeded Humana-Paredes knocked out second-placed Terese Cannon and Sarah Sponcil 21-11, 21-15. Within the different semi-finals, third-placed Flint and Scoles defeated fifth-placed Larissa and Lili Maesrini in units of 21-19, 21-17.

For full women’s results and statistics, go to

Melissa Humana-Paredes, left, and Brandie Wilkerson/Rick Atwood photograph

Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander ‘received outrageously’ at AVP Miami

Taylor Sander and Taylor Crabb knew they did not need their first event of the 2023 season to start out in a Seashore Professional Tour qualifier; That is how they’d have began in the event that they, like their 4 American counterparts, had traveled to La Paz, Mexico. , as an alternative of Miami this weekend. They loved an extended low season, predicting the lengthy grind would arrive in 2023. didn’t contact the ball. I lifted some weights. Sander paid for one or two outside gyms at BYU. Crabb messed with some quads at 21st The road in Hermosa Seashore.

“So we’ll begin with AVP Miami as a result of we do not practice lots,” Crabb mentioned just a few weeks in the past after they began pre-season preparations. “We do not need to throw ourselves into the worldwide area and be knocked down instantly. We need to velocity it up,” he mentioned.

Taylor Crabb, left, and Taylor Sander celebrating their victory/Rick Atwood photograph

The consequence, in Sander’s phrases, was “an unsightly volleyball by us all weekend.” This exhibits how gifted Crabb and Sander are: even taking part in a few of their “ugliest” volleyballs, they completed AVP Miami with an ideal 5-0 and received their third event in a row as a crew.

How ugly was it?

9 by 9 to play ugly.

After profitable the primary set of the AVP Miami closing 21-14 towards Chase Budinger and Miles Evans, Crabb and Sander’s lengthy low season 10 or quarter-hour put their heads up. They misplaced 6-1, then 11-2, then 12-3. Followers would have been forgiven if they’d left to seize a chew for a seemingly inevitable third set.

It is a good factor they did not do it for the third set, which might by no means occur.

There was by no means a single monumental run that introduced them again. It was a Sander block—one in all six within the finals—a Crabb ace right here, there. A mistake or two from Evans and Budinger, a frenzied rally, and within the blink of a watch, all of a sudden the rating is… a draw? At 15-15?

“Top-of-the-line comebacks I’ve ever seen,” commentator Dain Blanton mentioned into the microphone. A comeback full with Sander’s angle kick, a 21-19 second win, would have punctuated the entire spectrum of emotion – blended emotions of pleasure, aid, rage.

“It lasted all week,” mentioned Crabb, who received 4 consecutive AVPs main as much as the Phoenix Championships in September. “Our motto this week was that we stand behind ourselves and one another and consider we are able to win any sport.”

13-10 all the way down to Tim Brewster and Kyle Pal within the third set of the quarterfinals? By no means fear. Going into a 3rd set additional time to complete 21-19 within the third of a 70 minute sport towards Cody Caldwell and Chase Frishman in one other third set within the semifinals? No sweat. 12-3 down within the closing?

What is the level of beginning stress now?

“As Taylor mentioned, now we have hearts, we consider, and we received by taking part in ugly,” Sander mentioned with amusing. “We’ll proceed to play higher. We had been so excited that we received this win.”

Within the semi-finals, top-ranked Crabb and Sander defeated Eleventh-placed Cody Caldwell and Chase Frishman 18-21, 21-18, 21-19 units. Third-placed Budinger and Evans superior with a 21-17, 21-14 win over second-place Phil Dalhausser and Troy Area.

All men’s results and stats at

Taylor Crabb, left, and photograph of Taylor Sander/Rick Atwood

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