Vol-B-Que to Welcome Men’s National Team

Ed Chan

When the United States Men’s National Team rolls up to the Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State University for the NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament this month, they might take a second look at their calendars. That’s because a group of dedicated, local fans are organizing a welcoming event that will look more like July 4th than May 12 . The "Vol-B-Que”, a patriotic festival for volleyball enthusiasts, is the brainchild of Matt Garthoff, a Long Beach resident and passionate volleyball fan.

“We’re ecstatic the tournament’s taking place in our backyard and want to ensure our men receive a significant home-field advantage,” said Garthoff, whose group ran a similar event last year for a USA World League match. “Team USA is the defending gold medalist and is not yet qualified for the London Games. Now’s the time.”

Tickets to the festival are $20 for adults and $15 for children. Tickets provide general admission to the May 12 finals matches and entrance to the Vol-B-Que, which runs from 1 – 7:30 p.m. Spend the afternoon on the lawns in front of the Pyramid and be treated to an American-style barbeque, music by DJ Roueche, tailgate-style games, face painting, and Team USA player appearances. Beach volleyball legend Sinjin Smith has been named the Vol-B-Que’s Grand Marshall. At 8 p.m. the partygoers will file into the 5,000-seat arena to lead the cheers for Team USA.

The NORCECA event runs from May 7–12, with four matches taking place each day. If their FIVB seeds hold, World #6 USA would face #5 Cuba in the finals. The tournament champion receives a berth to this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

Originally published in May 2012

1 Comment

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