Beach Bytes: AVP announces 2019 schedule, Kira Walkenhorst retires

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Kira Walkenhorst-Beach Bytes 1/10/2019-beach volleyball-FIVB
Reigning Olympic gold medalist Kira Walkenhorst retires due to injury/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

AVP announces schedule: The AVP announced its 2019 schedule Thursday, largely maintaining continuity with the same weekends and sites as 2018.

However, the AVP is not going back to San Francisco after a three-year run (2016-2018), while last year’s late-addition in Hawai’i will return for 2019.

Huntington Beach, Calif. — Huntington Beach Pier, May 3-5
Austin, Texas — Krieg Fields, May 17-19
New York — Manhattan,  June 7-9
Seattle — Lake Sammamish State Park, June 21-23
Hermosa Beach, Calif. — Hermosa Beach Pier, July 26-28
Manhattan Beach, Calif. — Manhattan Beach Pier, August 16-18
Chicago — Oak Street, August 30-September 1
Hawai’i — Fort DeRussy, September 20-22

Kira Walkenhorst retires: Reigning Olympic gold medalist Kira Walkenhorst, 28, announced her retirement from beach volleyball Sunday on Instagram. The German, who took off this past season to have a baby, was plagued by knee and hip injuries.

Walkenhorst and partner Laura Ludwig have 11 FIVB wins together, including the 2016 Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro and the 2017 Hamburg World Tour Finals. Walkenhorst’s career earnings reported by BVBinfo.com are $556,161.

Walkenhorst and Ludwig have not competed since Hamburg, not only for rehabilitation and rest, but also to welcome family additions. Kira’s wife Maria, 34, gave birth to triplets Mo, Pepe, and Emma last October, while Ludwig and partner Morph Bowes welcomed their new son Teo last June.

Ludwig will partner with 32-year-old Margareta Kozuch, who has partnered with Karla Borger for two years after retiring from the German indoor national team. Ludwig and Kozuch have played one tournament together in 2017 Porec, finishing ninth.

Kozuch’s former partner Borger will turn to Julia Sude for 2019.

“This decision was by far the toughest of my career,” said Walkenhorst in a statement (as reported by BeachMajorSeries.com). “I was looking forward to reuniting with Laura all year long, then having to cancel her just before the start of the Olympic qualifying session hit me hard. However at home I have had the the best support you could wish for, Maria and our three little ones have given me an incredible amount of support.

“I would like nothing better than to continue with Laura and my great team where we left off in 2017.

“Perhaps I have pushed the warning signals of my body in the last few years too much into the background, at least my body allows me no more competitive sports.”

Florida State sets schedule: NCAA runner-up Florida State will play four home tournaments. The Seminoles are coming off a 33-7 season in which they won the CCSA and lost to UCLA in the NCAA Championships title match. The full schedule can be found here.

Group buys The MotherLode: The MotherLode volleyball classic, one of the most popular grass-roots beach and sand events in the country, has changed hands.

The annual Aspen, Colo., tournament, which has been in operation since 1972, has been purchased by Dave Kamena, Claudio Borgiotti, Vince Vandermey, Tobin Reynolds, and Patrick Connor.

“The Motherlode has been nurtured and developed by Leon Fell for many years, but after a long run in this role he has divested his interest and a new leadership team is now managing the Motherlode,” the investors said in a statement. “Leon continues to pursue sponsors and remains a member of the advisory board, but all aspects of management including operations and finances are now under the direction of new leadership.”

The 2019 MotherLode is August 28-September 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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