South Bay: Beach Volleyball Stars Casey Jennings and Pedro Salgado Claim Storied Hermosa Beach Open Title
The South Bay is the ‘Mecca’ of Beach Volleyball.
So it’s only fitting that Oakley Volleyball Stars claim one of the most storied contest titles in the area’s vibrant history.
Casey Jennings – the husband of Oakley’s two-time Olympic Gold Medal Beach Volleyball Star Kerri Walsh-Jennings – and Brazilian partner Pedro Salgado smashed their way to the coveted Hermosa Beach Open Title in late September, topping Oakley’s Sean Rosenthal and Jake Gibb in the Final: 21-18, 21-17.
Teaming up last minute for the tournament, the two O bombers put on a dazzling display of amped up volleyball in front of a raucous South Bay crowd. The victory is the first Hermosa Beach Open success for Casey since 2005.
“It’s so good to be home and it means everything to win a final,” Casey said, rocking his Oakley eyewear and boardshorts. He spent most of the season charging international stops on the FIVB Tour.
But his homecoming was no breeze to the top. Beijing 2008 Olympic contenders – Sean and Jake – hung in during two intense games with huge runs to take the early lead.
But Casey and Pedro raged back on each occasion.
In the first game, Casey and Pedro depleted their 14-11 deficit with a big 4-0 run to move ahead.
Rosenthal and Gibb would bring it to a tie at 17-17, but a huge shot from Casey followed by a ‘roof’ by Pedro brought it to 19-17. It was cruise control from there – with Casey sealing the deal with a cur shot to the corner.
The second game played out in familiar fashion.
A 4-0 run from Gibb and Rosenthal gave the No. 1 seeded team a 10-6 lead – but Casey and Pedro stormed back again – including a 5-0 run laced with huge blocks from Pedro and some amazing defense from Casey.
The final blow came from Casey – ‘tooling’ Gibb’s block attempt to take home the hardware.
Sean had nothing but praise for his fellow Oakley athletes.
“We started both games ahead,” he said. “We were up 12-9 in the first game and 10-6 in the second, but they made the plays late when it counted. We made them early, but they’re a real good team.”
No matter the victor and the loser, a picture perfect Hermosa Beach Day proved that there were no real losers in Beach Volleyball’s So. Cal. hotbed.“This is why I started playing this game at a young age and I still love it,” Casey continued. "I love the sport so much and today is just the cherry on top of everything.”
Pedro, who found inspiration eight years ago from watching Casey go toe-to-toe with legend Karch Kiraly, made what was once a dream, a reality.
“I know I wanted to be here one day to play in this atmosphere. It was very fun,” Pedro said, sporting his Oakley eyewear and boardshorts. “It’s a dream, I’ve always wanted to play here in Hermosa or Manhattan and now today I’m living my dream.”
Congratulations to both Casey and Pedro for the big victory!