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Heat decides title in AVP event


There was almost more action in the medical tent than on the court yesterday at the $100,000 Nestea Open at Baltimore, as the heat and humidity forced two teams to bail out of the two-man pro beach volleyball tournament.

Adam Johnson and Jose Loiola lost a crack at first place and a $20,000 winners' purse when dehydration forced Johnson out of the finals of the Association of Volleyball Professionals event. Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh won the title.

Loiola missed out on more than extra money and a nice trophy. The Brazilian was on the verge of becoming the first non-American to win an AVP Tour outdoor event.

"For me, it is a bit disappointing, but my partner was not feeling well," said Loiola, who has finished second six times in the past two years.

Johnson has been in Loiola's shoes (or in this case, his sandals) before. At the April AVP Tour stop in Mesa, Ariz., Johnson's former partner, Randy Stoklos, had to pull out of the finals because of dehydration.

Whitmarsh and Dodd were the only team to go undefeated through the weekend and played a total of four games.

Johnson and Loiola, who were coming out of the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament, had played one more match -- and themselves had benefited from a default.

In the losers' bracket semifinals yesterday, two-time Olympic gold-medal winner Karch Kiraly and Scott Ayakatubby could not take the court for their match with Loiola and Johnson.

"Saturday, I felt weak the whole day," said Ayakatubby, who had been suffering from a stomach flu since Tuesday. "I was just too dehydrated to continue."

Ayakatubby and Kiraly still managed to place fourth in the tournament after playing two games yesterday morning. Eric Fonoimoana and Ricci Luyties, who lost to Loiola and Johnson, 13-10, in the losers' bracket final, took third.

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