The Aloha Invitationalhosted April 24-25, at Queen’s Beach, home of the University of Hawaii sand volleyball teamwill mark the final weekend of regular season competition for four NCAA sand programs. No. 8-ranked UCLA, St. Mary’s, and No. 6 Long Beach State will travel to the islands to join No. 2 Hawaii in the two-day event.
Hosted by tournament producer Frank Tusieseina and in association with the Hawaii Beach Volleyball Association and a plethora of sponsors, the event will feature a team competition followed by a traditional Hawaii luau on Friday night and a pairs tournament followed by an awards ceremony and music concert on Saturday.
In the team competition, each flight (the No. 1 ranked duos from each school, for example) will be pitted against each other in a miniature bracket. Two of the No. 1 pairs will play and then the other two will play, with the winners of the two matches advancing to a winners match, and the losers competing in a contenders match. This format will play out for each rank of pairs (1-5), and at the end of the day, a team champion will be crowned, along with awards presented to the second- and third-place finishers as well.
On Saturday, the pairs competition will feature gold, silver, and bronze brackets. The No. 1-ranked pairs will compete in the gold bracket along with the No. 2- and No. 3-ranked pairs, while the Nos. 4 and 5 pairs begin in the silver bracket. No. 2- and No. 3-ranked teams that lose in the gold bracket will drop down to the silver, and the bronze bracket will be populated by teams that lose in the silver bracket. This format ensures that each pair will play at least two matches on Saturday.
CBS Sports Network will be on site filming the event, and the coverage will air on May 16 at 1 p.m. ET. Olympic beach volleyball players Mike Dodd and Dain Blanton will provide commentary for the event. Dodd’s daughter Dalas competes at the top flight for St. Mary’s, and her partner, Alexis Salmons is the daughter of 1984 indoor Olympian Steve Salmons. Blanton is a volunteer assistant coach for the USC sand volleyball team, which concludes its season this weekend at the Pac-12 Invitational Tournament in Santa Monica, California.