April Ross and Alix Klineman weren’t supposed to be in Southern California this weekend. Had all things remained regular worldwide, they ‘d have remained in Tokyo, getting ready for Ross’s 3rd Olympic Games and Klineman’s very first.

Normal, naturally, has not been the case with much this year. Instead of Tokyo, Ross and Klineman remained in Long Beach, with the remainder of the top 18 groups per gender on the AVP Tour. And, considering that they were here anyhow, might as well win the important things.

On Sunday, Ross and Klineman topped Brandie Wilkerson and Sara Hughes in the finals of the first AVP Champions Cup, 24-22, 21-19. It marked the eighth AVP title for the two, who have been playing together because 2018.

” We’re taking advantage of it,” stated Klineman, who struck.400 in the finals. “We’re just truly grateful that we have the chance to play right now. To be here even without the fans, it’s certainly not the very same, but it felt good to be out there.”

And tiring. When asked in the Amazon Prime cubicle afterwards what they ‘d be looking to deal with today in preparation for next weekend’s Wilson Cup, Ross joked, “resting!” The format for the competition– simply 8 teams in the main draw– might have been shorter, but still: This was the first time Ross and Klineman had actually contended considering that September’s AVP Hawai’i Open.

That discusses, in part, a few of the slow starts, and a number of moments in which Ross and Klineman found themselves down in turning points. Take the very first set of the finals vs. Wilkerson and Hughes, for instance.

Ross and Klineman, after beating World Champions and AVP rivals Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan, were down 16-20.

” There were some aggravating minutes where we might have let it get the very best of us,” Ross said, “and we didn’t.”.

No, they definitely did not. They rallied, scoring 4 straight to tie it, prior to pressing again to end up the set, 24-22.

” When we’re down it really fuels a few of our finest play because we get fired up and we begin thinking about what we need to do to play better,” Klineman stated. “It wasn’t maybe our most constant competition however mentally, we were there, we had great mindsets, we were resetting. I take pride in the methods we battled.”.

While not every match needed a four-point go to conserve a set, most matches offered a few tense moments. In Saturday’s quarterfinal match with Wilkerson and Hughes, who beat Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes in the other semifinal on Sunday, they began down 5-9 in the very first. Then they rallied, winning 21-19, 21-17.

Another chance to fight came one match later on, in Sunday’s semifinal, against Humana-Paredes and Pavan. They dropped the very first set, 14-21, before taking the next 2, 21-15, 15-12.

Was it an ideal competition? Not quite. However a beneficial one? No doubt.

” This is a remarkable chance to improve, and work on what we need to improve to be the best come Tokyo,” Ross said. “We’re concentrated on those styles throughout.”.