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Locals Top Finishers in Beach Volleyball

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1.Lexi McKeown goes up for the spike.

Lexi McKeown goes up for the spike.

Laguna Beach locals Lexi McKeown and Hallie Carballo took silver and bronze medals, respectively, during the 22nd annual AAU Junior National Beach Volleyball Championships held July 11-12 at the Hermosa Beach Pier.

Gils, 16 years, champions.

The contest welcomed 300 teams from across the country on 60 courts. The finals were held in Olympic style fashion on center court with official AAU referees, a play-by-play announcer and college recruiters in the stands.

Lexi and her partner Savana Greene from Kaneohe, Hawaii, teamed up for the two day tournament playing in the U15 girl’s division comprised of 40 pairs. Seeded fourth in the pool, they battled their way through the bracket to the championship game. Facing off against Hannah Martin and Emily Napoli from the San Diego area, the teams went point for point with Lexi and Savana ultimately taking the second place finish at 18-21.

Lexi played with a sprained ankle that had been restrained for nine days in a boot. “Her doctor was less than pleased!” her mom said.

Hallie and her partner Jacqueline Sanchez of Huntington Beach, both 13, competed in the U14 girl’s division of 60 teams. Securing two wins in the second and quarter final rounds, they faced off in the semi-finals against Lindsey Kelly of Hermosa Beach and Zoe Almanza from Los Angeles. Hallie and Jacqueline finished third, losing 17-21.

Girls taking third place in the 16 and under division.

Players in the girls 14 and under category.

Players in the girls 14 and under category.

The girls, 14 and under team.

The girls, 14 and under team.

Finalists in girls 14 years and under.

Finalists in girls 14 years and under.

Girls 16 and under winners.

Girls 16 and under winners.

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