Pro beach volleyball returns this week with the start of the three-week AVP Champions Cup Series in Long Beach (July 17-19, July 24-26, July 31-August 2). This is part of a series profiling new teams for 2020.
Ty Loomis knows the score. He knows he’s 41 years old, that his AVP Tour tournaments are numbered, that soon his life will have to consist of something other than beach volleyball. When he considered his options for potential partners in the AVP Champions Cup, and one of those options, Bill Kolinske, didn’t seem particularly enthused about competing with him, he said “screw it.”
He didn’t want to wait any longer. If these three tournaments could, indeed, be his last, it wasn’t going to be on someone else’s time.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be training, playing, what am I doing?” he said.
So he took matters into his own hands, calling up Miles Partain, who was another in Kolinske’s rotation of potential defenders, including Sean Rosenthal, with whom Kolinske wound up partnering.
“I just texted him and said we’d guaranteed be in, we can stop playing the waiting game, nothing against (Kolinske), you’ll probably play with him in the future, we’ll keep it cool with him, I’ll teach you as much as I can and we’ll have fun and go on two and we’ll run shoot sets like you and your brother, let’ s just get crazy and make it super fun,” Loomis recalled. “That’s what I need right now, after everything going on, just getting out there and having fun.”
There is little doubt that fun will be had between the two. While Partain, the 2019 VolleyballMag.com Rookie of the Year, may be one of the most soft-spoken individuals on Tour, his skill set allows, if not encourages, a unique, fast-paced offense, one that will be of benefit, and great fun, to both.
Loomis has competed with a smaller partner before, split-blocking with his good friend, Ty Tramblie. The “Ty and Tyrone Show” is what they dubbed themselves, and they were a fun, sand throwing, split-blocking, scrapping team. Partain has competed the majority of his career with his older brother, Marcus, who is 6-foot-2, an inch shorter than Loomis.
In Partain, Loomis found a slightly bigger, left-handed version of Tramblie; in Loomis, Partain found a similar proxy for Marcus.
“It’s similar for sure, split-blocking,” said Partain, who is only 18 and has verbally committed to play for UCLA. “It’ll help a lot with just having blocked a little bit before. He has a lot of lessons to teach me so he’s teaching me some stuff, he’s been really positive too.”
With good reason, too.
Loomis knows that at this point of his career, knowledge may be the most important asset he has to give to the sport. He considers Partain to be “the future,” he said. “Eighteen years old and an incredible player that has probably been playing more than anyone during the past six months.”
At this point, Loomis isn’t so much concerned about Partain being prepared for the big stage than for himself.
“I just gotta make sure I’m ready,” he said. “This kid’s on it. I love it.”
Read our other new AVP Champions Cup Partnerships features:
- Avery Drost moves to defense behind Ryan Doherty
- Marciniak, Rodriguez revive 2017 partnership
- Loomis finds his fountain of youth in 18-year-old Miles Partain
- Wheeler, Quiggle, longtime friends and opponents, on same side of the net
- Callahan, Jones, both 6-foot-2, ready for AVP debut
- Fiery Turner, calm Hogan enjoying AVP partnership
- Tiegs excited to partner with Wopat for AVP Champions Cup
- Muno, recovered from coronavirus, and Dowdy working hard
- With Flint out, Day partners with Fendrick