AVPFirst “thrilled” with turnout, championships

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Megan Muret digs during the 18U AVPFirst final/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

AVPFirst has experienced exponential growth.

That was evident at the second AVPFirst Championships last week in Hermosa Beach, as the tournament grew from 68 teams in 2016 to 215 teams this year.

“We were super-thrilled with the turnout,” said Tony Giarla, AVPFirst Executive Director. “We had a high number of quality teams come out, a lot of Division I athletes down to the newbies. Year two almost quadrupled in size, and we expect significant growth moving forward.”

The championship was the culmination of over 70 qualifying events in 18 states this year for the junior arm of the professional-beach AVP Tour.

“We’re so excited about the growth of the program,” Giarla said. “We spend a lot of time on the road overseeing qualifying events. My program director and I spend a lot of time at our events.

“Out of the 70-plus events, we attended over 50 to make sure we were able to reach all of our partners, provide support and build those relationships. We’re very excited about the direction of what we’re doing, it’s the first piece of our long term objectives for AVPFirst.”

Boys 12U
1 Aidan Powell/Kellen Larson
2 Jason Walmer/Jensen Fiskin
3 Jett Bathurst/Victor Loiola
4 Riley Wisniakowski/Tomasz Wisniakowski
Boys 14U
1 Noa Haine/Riley Haine
2 Marcus Heidger/Truman Morley
3 Blaze Woller/Callahan Hefner
4 Cameron Konis/Thomas Hurst
5 Jake Ewart/Joey Macko
5 Keegan Rappleye/Quade Sorensen
Boys 16U
1 David Hawkins/Quin Etnyre
2 Theo Mack/Trey White
3 Griffin Walters/Manning Lemoine
4 Cameron Terrian/Cody Wallace
5 Andrew White/Charles Koertge
5 Ian Dunipace/Johnny Wilson
5 Freddy Batiratu/Ian Smith
5 Blake Fanshier/Noah Silva
Boys 18U
1 John Schwengel/Rowdy Lennnon
2 Alex Kormeluk/Luke Grafton
3 Brett Sheward/Timothy Brewster
4 Alex Nieves/Ignacio Aldebol
5 Jackson Tourdot/Noah Nailor
5 Logan Siemens/Vuhoang Le
5 Sasha Bylsma/Sawyer McSorley
5 Erik Hernadez Ramirez/Sergio Andres Garza
9 Luke Cloward/Owen Read
9 David Barrett/Nick Gustafson
9 Ryan Steele/Wyatt Rowland
9 Jared Loayza/Scott Prawitt
Girls 12U
1 Malyssa Cawa/Mele Corral-Blagojevich
2 Finley Rollins/Jaylen Clark
3 Ella Gray/London Wijay
4 Drew Wright/Maia Niemen
5 Hie Loui/Samantha Okano
5 Julia Waugh/Saylor Little
5 Gianna Tagoa/Kira Little
5 Giselle Groe/Kahealani Carvalho
9 Chloe Lewis/Claire Brennan
9 Kate Phillips/Natalie Morrow
9 Kaitlyn Beck/Katelyn Cochran
9 Brooklyn Helle/Karis Jones
Girls 12U
1 Avery Towne/Natalie Cox
2 Niyah Coleman/Vivi Kaelin
3 Margaret Mendelson/Marli Clausi
3 Alexis  Biagetti/Kaia Fanshier
5 Anabelle Barry/Mei Tsou
5 Lucianna Alexander/Olivia Lenz
5 Avey Nevens/Greta Brown
5 Adri Rosenthal/Korryn Narvaez
Girls 14U
1 McKenzie Wise/Sydnee Broadway
2 Ava Kirunchyk/Natalie Myszkowski
3 Eden McCoy/Tatiana Rusich
4 Bonnie Davis/Chloe Martin
5 Devyn Oestreich/Madison Nichols
5 Chloe Culver/Mabyn Thomas
5 Ally Thaw/Sydney Jacinto
5 Ashtyn Rheinlaender/Hailey Hamlett
9 Haley Carrington/Morgyn Seibel
9 Alyssa Carrizales/Arianna Franklin
9 Arden Besecker/Elin Kaiser
9 Sarah Maginnis/Teagan Cheung
9 Kaitlyn Bradley/Macey Butler
9 Gabby Valadez/Michelle Jung
9 Delaney Karl/Kiana Wurtz
9 Ellie (“Elise”) Eichhorn/Kiley Kane
17 Elizabeth Anderson/Logan Scully
17 Ava Cole/Portia Sherman
17 Gabbi Perez/Lauren McGinness
17 Brisa Reaves/Madeline McCleve
17 Brooke Parker/Kaitlyn Haas
17 Hayden Randolph/Tiffany Medel
17 Piper Smith/Taylor Helle
17 Amaya Keiper/Giselle Caba
17 Lina Lazarus/Marley Rosello
17 Ashley Lyne/Kandice Rowe
17 Ellie Davis/Landree Austin
17 Kennedy Westendorff/Prestin Garman
17 Camryn Woodworth/Danica Pel
17 MayaMay Brown/Serena Ramirez
17 Amelia Bent/Natalie Palmer
17 Abby Castillon/Madison Rocha
Girls 14U
1 Katie Anthony/Serena Turner
2 Claire Robbins/Jenna Colligan
3 Lauren Kott/Scotti Krause
3 Alyssa Muraoka/Halo Yoshiki
5 Ashley Chacon/Jenna Brotherton
5 Amanda Patea/Maggie Melbye
5 Kendall Whitmarsh/Piper Sudberry
5 Alex Kriz/Raylyn Tarquinio
9 Ella Davis/Maddie Whynot
9 Ali O’Donnell/McKenna Towne
9 Cleo Slaughter/MacKenzie Steele
9 Kylie Cox/Shalya Fulwider
9 Ava Saiers/Grace Polhemus
9 Kate O’Steen/Zoe Morales
9 Kayla Cavazos/Olivia Medina
9 Emilea Stepaniuk/Kohana Fukuchi
17 Delaney Delladonna/Grace Abrams
17 Adisen Stratton/Lauren Larson
17 Ireland McNees/Sammy Perry
17 Natalie Taggart/Skyler Sanders
17 Imari Onwuegbu/Savannah Cottam
17 Angelina DeLeon/Kyllie Remus
17 Gabriella Oaks/Tara Ozdemir
Girls 16U
1 Harper Hallgren/Molly Davis
2 Aislyn Xanthos/Zoe Smith
3 Camille Burman/Erin Slagerman
4 Canada Buchanan/Shelby/ONeal
5 Hallie Carballo/Peri Brennan
5 Ashton Mares/Courtney Moon
5 Abigail Elder/Ella Alexander
5 Adriana Pereira/Paige Duffack
9 Caitlin Moon/Sophie Bengoechea
9 Caitlin Godwin/Lua Lindner-Rosado
9 Brooke Buchner/Kate Reilly
9 Grace Cook/Tylar Garrett
9 Lexi Sweeney/Trinity Cavanaugh
9 Analy Carbine/Ciella Harrison
9 Ally Polverari/Cam Dueck
9 Kelly Muret/Kendall Elias
17 Angelene-Tori Kamalani Kekoolani/Moana To’oto’o
17 Elizabeth Melita/Tatum Shuckhart
17 Cecelia Fenton/Lindsey Adolpho
17 Madison Honeycutt/Sage Whitham
17 Maki Bispham/Pearl Moore
17 Allison Hansen/Maia Nichols
17 Ashley McManus/ Jacinda Ramirez
17 Cam Baklenko/Katie Biscocho
17 Kaitlyn Back/Stella Chamness
17 Caitlin Cummings/Samantha Strah
17 Brooke Blutreich/Taryn Ames
17 Alyssa Garber/Breanna Carrington
17 Alivia Orvieto/Ashley Warren
17 Emmy Sharp/Lauren Harrison
17 Megan Luly/Mikaela Dougherty
17 Chloe Mauceri/Siena Pomerantz
Girls 18U
1 Alexis Filippone/Megan Muret
2 Aerielle Barton/Presley Forbes
4 Brook Bauer/Maja Kaiser
5 Jayelin Lombard/Simone Priebe
5 Caroline White/Cierra Flood
5 Amelia Smith/Jamie McQuarrie
5 Alexia Inman/Sunny Villapando
9 Laurel Kujan/Maddie Micheletti
9 Ellie McDonald/Kelli Agnew
9 Kailey Klein/Taylor Lopez
9 Ashley Robert/Ashlyn Pope
9 Ashley Delgado/Olivia Lee
9 Emily Anderson/Marielle Diaz
9 Caroline Schafer/Jacquiline Ribeiro
9 Devon Newberry/Lindsey Sparks
17 Jhenna Gabriel/Savana Greene
17 Cassidy Drury-Pullen/Kylan Loker
17 Lauren Orlich/Macy Gordon
17 Lydia Rush/Rylie Satran
17 Abby Carroll/Jordan Westendorff
17 Dana Parker/Sarah Blacker
17 Alexandra Haden/Demi McInnis
17 Katie Hess/Taylor Jarzombek
17 Francesca Gettings/Lauren Lanesey
17 Allison Coens/Hunter Domanski
17 Liz Waters-Leiga/Mollie Ebertin
17 Renee Mussler/SalliAnne Napolitano
17 Darbi Honeycutt/Olivia Lawson
17 Lauren McMurray/Taylor Pennington
17 Joey Benson/Portia valadez
17 Alanna Duarte/Peyton Lewis
Girls 16U
1 Dana Waldburger/Hanna Farnsworth
2 Graciella Rowland/Julin Kenison
3 Kendall Kott/Marissa Plaza
3 Alison Sievers/Arianna Bilby
5 Alyssa Renfrew/Cela Chamness
5 Carissa Jones/Sarah Grace Penry
5 Maeve Griffin/Olivia Morgan
5 Cinthia Medina/Rebeca Garza
9 Ava Crawford/Hannah Smith
9 Karsyn Hay/Zoe Shippee
9 Jensen Kaelin/Maya Mizuno
9 Karmin Brown/Zoe Zimmerman
9 Abbey Bufkin/Jorden Jaimes
9 Elizabeth Canon/Leila Inocentes
9 Grace Paulson/Sara McBride
9 Adrienne VanBrunt/Emilie Cagle
17 Makaela Weathers/Makenzie Weathers
17 Payton Birch/Sophie Cantera
17 Brenna Mellish/ShaLynn Lesniewski
17 Carlee Cannella/Kailey Suezaki
17 Bridget Agyare/Shruti Janardhanan
17 Alanna Shields/Sophia Sola
17 Skylar Lund/Tyler Bellino
17 Kylee Hill/Louise Linton
17 Angel Gamboa/Paige Thrush
17 Morgan Browne/Olivia Browne
Girls 18U
1 Bella Mae Swafford/Maddie Kriz
2 Brigitte Canty/Delaney Peranich
3 Emily Gillingham/Madison Shields
3 Kylee Johnson/Maya Watkins
5 Chloe Schmitz/Vanessa Bernzen
5 Kennedi Evans/Whitney Solosabal
5 Grace Jansen/Mia Kowalcyzk
5 Aeriel Sundt/Nicole Gentile
9 Briana Ayala/Kelissa Lemoine
9 Kassidy Bates/Laurie McGrath
9 Ashlee Stansel/Brooke Stansel
9 Jordyn Miller/Kylee Davis
9 Callie Weber/Maddie Butters
9 Paige Lawson/Sophia Beamish
9 Brooke Scheidle/Gabriella Johnston
9 Macy Rideout/Michaeli Barnes
17 Madelyn Clark/Samantha Johnson
17 Cassidy Howard/Hannah White

One reason that Giarla believes that AVPFirst has been successful is by improving player welfare.

“It’s the simple things,” Giarla said. “We want to see pole pads and antennas on every court. Having water, sunscreen and shade available. We provide one official for every three court so we can educate players on filling out scoresheets and officiating. The educational process is an important part of our program.”

Beyond that, Giarla’s long term plan is to build a player base of disadvantaged children.

“I’ve spent the last 15 years building inner-city, community-based programs all across Los Angeles, with partnerships with housing developments, school districts, and parks, and the goal is to supplement the competitive opportunities with a series of these local inner-city beach volleyball leagues.

“The leagues will be 8-10 weeks long, we’ll send out athletes and train volunteers in an effort to create access for kids. We’re trying to transition the sport from a niche sport to more of a main stream sport by building awareness and brand recognition and exposing the kids to the sport. I see the kids, they have the talent, they just don’t have the means.

“Hopefully we’ll create a pipeline for those kids, and those kids can get scholarship opportunities, and come to our qualifying tournaments so there’s some real connection there.

AVPFirst is currently in conversations about expandng locales in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and Tennessee.

“A lot of inner-city kids have access to indoor volleyball but just don’t have resources and access to beach volleyball,” Giarla said. “We want to support them with uniforms, infrastructure, high-level training, and officials. The whole goal is to integrate them into the competitive AVP framework.”

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