A majority of the women’s tournament at the 2019 AVP Hermosa Beach Open has been defined by shocking upsets, grueling matches and an influx of young talent playing at a high level.
Coming into the women’s final, top seeds Emily Day and Betsi Flint had avoided those trends, relying on their experience to dominate every opponent that stood in their way.
Sunday’s final was no exception, as Day and Flint finished a 21-14, 21-14 thrashing of 21st seeds Kathryn Hogan and Megan Rice in just 38 minutes to put an exclamation on an outstanding tournament for the AVP tour mainstays.
On Saturday, Day and Flint booked a trip to the semifinals after a straight-set victory over Hogan and Rice. According to Day, the familiarity that she and Flint possessed with their opponents proved vital a day later.
“We really like to watch film on teams, so to actually be able to play them early in the tournament was helpful…” Day said. “But I always say it’s so hard to beat the same team twice in a tournament.”
Day and Flint asserted their strength toward the end of the first set, making life difficult for Hogan and Rice throughout. Case in point, Hogan and Rice each committed attack errors at the end of the set to give Day and Flint a one-set advantage.
During the break, Day and Flint remained calm, and as the heat and humidity intensified, their play only improved. While they had not won a tournament this season, the experience of coming up short in the final at Seattle a month ago carried them through today’s match.
By the beginning of the second set, Day and Flint became more accurate: the first set, the duo hit 55.6 percent, while they finished at 63.9 percent for the entirety of the match.
“We’ve been working a lot on minimizing our errors, and we trust our defense, so we know that we can attack even if we don’t get a clean kill,” Flint said.
Hogan and Rice were playing in their 10th match in four days, buoyed by a string of upsets that sent them to an AVP final for the first time in their career. But Day and Flint proved too difficult an opponent.
Day and Flint, both of whom graduated from nearby LMU, won their first tournament as partners, and did so without losing a set. Day claimed her second title in three years at Hermosa Beach, the first of which came with then-partner Brittany Hochevar in 2017.