Rogers-Brunner win title in the Cayman Islands

Todd Rogers and new partner Theo Brunner won their first pro beach volleyball tournament title as a team, capturing the NORCECA Tour event in Grand Caymen, Caymen Islands on Sunday.

Rogers-Brunner defeated fellow Americans Will Montgomery and Stafford Slick in straight sets, 21-12, 21-18, for the championship in the FIVB zonal tour competition, which includes teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Rogers said he was happy to win the gold medal after finishing as runner-up last year with Ryan Doherty.

“It’s nice to be at the top of the medal podium looking down this year after coming up short last time around,” he said in a post-tournament press conference. “The credit goes to my partner, though, because he played fantastic. His blocking and passing was excellent and it made my job much easier against a good team.”

Rogers and Brunner were the USA’s B team in Grand Cayman while Montgomery, a graduate of Santa Barbara High, and Slick were the country’s A team.

Brunner cited his jump serve as a key to the victory.

“My jump serve was not working too good for the first two days, but luckily today it came through for me and my partner,” he said. “It helped lift our confidence and in the end we came out victorious.”

In the semifinals, Rogers and Brunner overwhelmed Canada’s Andrew Hinchey-Ryan Vanderbug, 21-14, 21-13, while Montgomery and Slick saved three match points against last year’s champs from Puerto Rico, Roberto Rodriguez and Erik Haddock, before prevailing 13-21, 23-21, 16-14.