Casey Patterson and Ty Loomis spent the entire AVP Coney Island final – heck, the entire tournament – whooping it up, celebrating like mad after every point and playing to the crowd.
“We’re the most fired up team on the beach,” Loomis said.
But when the seventh-seeded duo upset the top-seeded squad of John Hyden and Sean Scott, 26-24, 21-19, on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn, Patterson and Loomis looked confused. The excitable Patterson just stood there, arms and mouth open, until Loomis tackled him to the sand.
“We kept looking at each other, like what do we do now?” Patterson said.
It was the first AVP tour championship for Patterson and Loomis in their first season teaming together. They enjoyed every minute of it. They relished the traditional champagne popping. They signed every single autograph and accommodated every single fan wanting a picture.
In fact, the pair, which will split a $34,000 purse, didn’t actually leave the Coney Island beach until everyone had gone home, more than 90 minutes after they scored on match point.
“We’ve envisioned it forever,” Patterson said.
Added Loomis: “This is gonna be the best day of our lives.”
Patterson already had one of those recently. His wife, Alexis, gave birth to their first child, Cash, last Wednesday. Every time he or Loomis served, one of them said they were doing it for Cash. The name is a derivate of Cassius, which is where Patterson also got his first name. It’s almost like Casey Jr., but with more cache. Patterson said he wanted it to be a name that sounded like an athlete’s.
“Cash money,” Patterson said with a laugh.
Patterson, 29, had never gotten further than fifth place in an AVP event and that came earlier this year with Loomis, 30. He has already earned more money with Loomis than any other partner he has ever played with in six years on the tour. The partnership has certainly worked – Patterson is enthusiastic and histrionic, while Loomis is a bit more laid back.
“I let him go, let him have fun,” Loomis said. “He’s playing his best when he’s playing like that.”
Patterson’s game has evolved over the years. Despite being 6-feet-6, he said he was always a setter in his younger years and his strength was never power, more ball control and passing. Those skills helped earn him the nickname Vision Quest from AVP emcee Chris (Geeter) McGee. It wasn’t until his junior year at BYU, in 2001, when he got into the gym more. Patterson became less of a shooter and developed a powerful swing.
“I grew into that,” Patterson.
Evidently, he’s growing even more.
Scott and Hyden came into Coney Island winning the last two tournaments, in Ocean City, Md., and Atlanta. They beat Olympians Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in both of those events and had inched them out for tops in the AVP standings.
“They’re playing better than anyone in the world right now,” Loomis said.
Now, perhaps the same can be said for he and Patterson.
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