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Tested pair takes ‘For the Love’ men’s crown

posted Feb 10, 2014, 5:41 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Feb 10, 2014, 5:42 PM ]
Saipan Tribune SPORTS, Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tyce Mister goes for a tip against Jazz Roskow, while Russ Quinn and Jesse Palacios stand by for the next play during their elimination game in the For the Love of Volleyball Tournament last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan sand court. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)
The reliable duo of Tyce Mister and Russ Quinn bested seven other pairs to win the men’s division title in the 2014 For the Love of Volleyball Tournament held last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan sand court.

Mister and Quinn, who teamed up twice for the CNMI and represented the Commonwealth in the 1999 South Pacific Games in Guam and the 2003 edition of the quadrennial event in Fiji, named their squad Happy Birfday and were unbeaten in the double-elimination playoffs. The pair capped its perfect run in the Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association-sanctioned tournament with a 21-14 win in the finals against That’s What She Said’s Tyler Wisley and Rob Jordan.

The victory was the second in a row for Happy Birfday against the same squad, as Mister and Quinn downed Wisley and Jordan earlier in the winner’s bracket semifinals, 21-20. That’s What She Said then earned another crack at Happy Birfday when it eliminated What’s Clay McCullough-Stearns and Andrew Johnson in the loser’s bracket semis, 21-16.

The eight participating teams played in the double-elimination playoffs after a round-robin preliminary. Happy Birfday finished first in Group A to get the top seeding in the playoffs and defeated last-ranked Rob Epley and James McAllister of Ro Bo in the first round, 21-0.

Bruce + Chris’ Bruce Berline and Chris Nelson placed second in Group A and drew Wrecking Balls’ Greg and Jeff Elliot in the opening round, winning at 21-14 to set up a quarterfinal duel against Happy Birfday in the upper half of the bracket.

In the lower half, That’s What She Said was paired against One Time’s Leo Blaas and Leo Wania, cruising to a 21-9 win for a quarterfinal date with PJ’s Jess Palacios and Jazz Roscow. PJ advanced after a 21-13 win over What, but bowed to That’s What She Said to fall to the loser’s bracket.

PJ went on to eliminate Wrecking Balls to remain in contention, while What also stayed afloat after ousting One Time and Bruce + Chris. What and PJ then collided for the right to face That’s What She Said in the last semis match with the former prevailing, 21-10.

Meanwhile, in the women’s division Ticonderoga’s Jennifer Douglas and Christen Steinkuller came out of the loser’s bracket to clinch the championship.

Ticonderoga bowed to LOL’s Charnessa Lizama and Tony Yamada in the winner’s bracket semis, 13-21, and had to knock out Sisters’ Phalai Frink and Zena Demapan in the loser’s group, 21-13, to take the second finals berth. In the title showdown, Ticonderoga defeated LOL twice, 21-13, 15-9, to steal the championship.

Five other teams joined the women’s division contest. The list includes Jandreo’s Nicole Arenovski, A2’s Angie Mister and Athena Andrews, Yuuki’s Tomoko Epley and Linda Anastacio, For the Love’s Laurie Peterka and Knohlynn Gechig, and Chinay’s Adele Hudkins and Jennifer Tan.