While many players — read: Ryan Doherty, John Hyden, Stafford Slick, Billy Allen — are returning to former partners for the upcoming 2019 season, Jeremy Casebeer appears to be trying out a new one.

Registration for The Hague, a four-star event in the Netherlands that is becoming something of a season-opening event of the FIVB calendar, closed this past Sunday, and Eric Zaun confirmed that he’ll be competing alongside Casebeer.

“I’m super excited to play with Jeremy,” Zaun said. “A lot of people have been asking if this is just for one tournament or a long-term partnership. When it comes down to it, not many teams that are having success break up. The plan is to figure out what works for our team, pick up some points with good finishes, and see where we can go from there.”

Zaun was recently given the tongue-in-cheek “Neighborhood Bicycle” award for having played with so many partners this past season, including Slick, Ed Ratledge, Tim Bomgren, Piotr Marciniak, Adam Roberts, Troy Field, and Avery Drost.

He and Drost won the annual Seaside Open and, most recently, a CBVA at Huntington Beach. They’ll also be competing in the p1440 Young Guns event this weekend in Huntington.

Casebeer, meanwhile, played the entirety of 2018 with Reid Priddy. Together, they made four semifinals on the AVP and another at p1440’s opening event in San Jose.

Also registered on the men’s side are:

  • Reid Priddy-Theo Brunner
  • Casey Patterson-Chase Budinger
  • Billy Allen-Stafford Slick
  • Billy Kolinske-Miles Evans
  • Avery Drost-Ed Ratledge
  • Travis Mewhirter-Ben Vaught
  • Kris Johnson-Chris Austin
  • Mike Boag-Miles Partain

On the women’s side:

The country quota starts at 9 a.m. on December 17 on the South Side of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Honer, Joyner to play in Slovenia: Maybe you’re just asking the wrong question. Maybe it just won’t do to rest on existential queries such as: “Why go to Slovenia in late fall to play a one-star tournament that hardly anyone knows about, with a partner you’ve yet to compete with?”

Maybe you should just keep it simple: Why not?

“It was a random ‘Why not?’ ” said Christian Honer, who will be competing in the aforementioned one-star in Slovenia this weekend with Brandon Joyner. “I don’t think anybody else is going to sign up so it’s going to be a good opportunity to earn a couple FIVB points before next year so I can start working my way into that system. I’m super lucky and super excited about the opportunity even though I’m not super prepared for it. I’m ready to roll.”

Joyner is certainly ready to roll. He recently moved to Hermosa Beach, land of a billion reps. He is, not surprisingly, itching for some competition.

“He said ‘Man, let’s do it, I just moved to Cali, I’m practicing a ton, I’m ready to roll,’” Honer said. “It was kind of perfect for him because you know what it’s like to move to Cali: You get that bug. You’re just like ‘Let’s do this thing, I’m playing four times a day!’”

On the advice from USA Volleyball, they applied for a wild card to get into the qualifier, “and I don’t know what did it,” Honer said, “but we got it, so I’m pumped. We’ll be the sixteen seed in the qualifier so we’ll have to win two on Thursday to make it in.”

Where they’re staying, they’re not so sure just yet. They just know they’re meeting in Vienna, getting some reps with an Austrian team, taking the train to Slovenia, and playing in the most unexpected of qualifiers.

Because why not?

“Right after Chicago [where he made his first career main draw with Ryan Meehan], I was going to focus on hitting the gym again, focus on making money, all that stuff,” Honer said. “That’s what I was doing and then I saw the opportunity to play that tournament and I was like ‘Alright, I’m going to hit up some people, and I’m going to make it out.’”

Patterson-Budinger partner up: Casey Patterson confirmed last weekend via text, that he and AVP Rookie of the Year Chase Budinger will partner for the 2019 season. After playing eight years in the NBA, Budinger played his first season on the beach with Sean Rosenthal in 2018, making the finals in San Francisco and the quarterfinals in New York.

Patterson, meanwhile, competed with Slick, his second partner in as many years, with mixed results. After opening with a third in Austin, they made just two more quarterfinals the rest of the year, in Seattle and Manhattan Beach.

Slick has returned to Allen, with whom he competed in 2017 and had an excellent season. Where Rosenthal is going is yet to be determined.

p1440 Young and Top Guns fields set: p1440 has been slowly unveiling the entry lists for the Top Guns and Young Guns tournaments taking place in Huntington Beach this weekend. Per the new tour’s style, it’s a mixed bag of international and domestic players, as well as a mixed bag of events.

The Top Guns event features a round-robin style: 16 players split into four pools of four, where everyone will play against everyone in their pool. The top two finishers from pool play — played in one game to 28 — will then draft their partner for the finals, to be held on Sunday afternoon and streamed on p1440’s website.

The Young Guns is a standard 24-team draw, with six pools of four playing modified pool play. The top two teams from each pool will move onto the elimination rounds, as will four “lucky losers,” comprising a 16-team single elimination play on Saturday and Sunday.

Women’s Young Guns:

McKenna Thibodeau USA Madison Willis USA
Molly Turner USA Falyn Fonoimoana USA
Jessica Gaffney USA Agnieszka Pregowska POL
Martina Bonnerová CZE Tjasa Kotnik SLO
Delaney Knudsen USA Jessica Sykora USA
Corrine Quiggle USA Carly Wopat USA
Sasha Karelov USA Lauren Deturk USA
Martha Revueltas MEX Zayra Orella MEX
Traci Callahan USA Avery Bush USA
Kathryn Hogan SRB Milena Matic SRB
Juliana Felisberta BRA Andressa Ramalho Cavalcanti BRA
Sheila Shaw USA Mackenzie Ponnet USA
Sarah Schermerhorn USA Kim Hildreth USA
Cassie House USA Tory Paranagua USA
Ana Gallay ARG Fernanda Pereyra ARG
Elise Zappia USA Jenna Blocksom USA
Alexa Strange USA Emily Hartong USA
Irene Hester Pollock USA Kim DiCello USA
Andrea Galindo COL Claudia Galindo COL
Katie Spieler USA Allie Wheeler USA
Megan Rice USA Sarah Harper USA
Rachel Laquaniello USA Jessica Wilson USA
Stacey Smith USA Camie Anne Manwill USA
Kristen Petrasic USA Chelsea Ross USA


Men’s Young Guns:

Hagen Smith USA Steve Irvin USA
Chase Frishman USA Piotr Marciniak POL
Troy Field USA Kyle Friend USA
Travis Mewhirter USA Myles Muagututia USA
Miles Partain USA Marty Lorenz USA
Dave Palm USA Luciano Ferreira BRA
Harley Marques BRA Konstantin Semenov RUS
Avery Drost USA Eric Zaun USA
Paul Lotman USA Raffe Paulis USA
Ed Ratledge USA Rafu Rodriguez PR
Ben Saxton CAN Grant O’Gorman CAN
Lombardo Ontiveros MEX Jose Luis Rubio Camargo MEX
Alexander Walkenhorst GER Alvaro Filho BRA
Bobby Jacobs USA Michael Boag USA
Christopher Austin USA Kris Johnson USA
Pedro Resende BRA Marcus Carvalhaes BRA
Josh Binstock CAN Daniel Dearing CAN
Leo Williams SA Nejc Zemljak SLO
Mark Burik USA Logan Webber USA
Jeff Samuels USA Michael Brunsting USA
Lev Priima RUS Jacob Landel USA
John Schwengel USA Aidan Brown USA
Brad Connors USA Matt Henderson USA
Drew Mallin USA Peter Doubravsky CZE

** Reid Priddy (ankle) and Ty Loomis withdrew due to injury.

Women’s Top Guns:

Maria Antonelli Defender BRA
Taiana Lima Defender BRA
Nicole Branagh Defender USA
Betsi Flint Defender USA
Emily Stockman Defender USA
Maria Clara Salgado Defender BRA
Becchara Palmer Defender AU
Rebecca Cavalcanti Defender BRA
Kerri Walsh Jennings Blocker USA
Kelly Claes Blocker USA
Emily Day Blocker USA
Kelly Larsen Blocker USA
Elize Secomandi Maia Blocker BRA
Ana Patricia Silva Ramos Blocker BRA
Brittany Howard Blocker USA


Men’s Top Guns:

Casey Jennings Defender USA
Miles Evans Defender USA
Casey Patterson Defender USA
Taylor Crabb Defender USA
Chaim Schalk Defender CAN/USA
Sean Rosenthal Defender USA
Alexander Huber Defender AUT
John Hyden Defender USA
Aleksandrs Samoilovs Blocker LAT
Jeremy Casebeer Blocker USA
Theo Brunner Blocker USA
Ricardo Santos Blocker BRA
Bill Kolinske Blocker USA
Chase Budinger Blocker USA
Tim Bomgren Blocker USA
Samuel Pedlow Blocker CAN


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