The AVP caught the beach-volleyball world by surprise this week by announcing its 2018 schedule, something it had not so early in the recent past.
By all accounts, the AVP had a tremendous 2017 and will maintain the same eight venues and weekends for 2018, continuing the AVP’s strategy of having events in large metropolitan centers.
May 3-6: Huntington Beach Open
May 17-20: Austin Open
June 7-10: New York City Open, Gold Series
June 21-24: Seattle Open
July 5-8: San Francisco Open
July 26-29: Hermosa Beach Open
August 16-19: Manhattan Beach Open, Gold Series
Aug. 30-Sept. 2: Championships in Chicago, Gold Series
“In 2017, our focus was to produce a spectacular beach festival for the athletes and fan experience,” AVP managing partner Donald Sun in a news release. ‘We are thrilled to return to these eight cities and continue building on the tremendous success that we built together with our host cities and partners.”
The AVP will not only once again have its Gold Series events with enhanced prize money and points, but said it will expand the Gold Series concept to the AVPNext developmental series. AVPNext Gold events were not announced.
There are inevitable conflicts with the FIVB schedule.
The FIVB has 39 events, creating overlaps on nearly every weekend. However, if last year is any guide, some of the events listed on the preliminary schedule may not finalize.
New this year is FIVB Huntington Beach, which is scheduled to run May 2-6, while the AVP Huntington Beach is May 3-6. Also on that weekend are a FIVB three-star in Mersin, Turkey, a one-star in Manila, Philippines, and a two-star women’s only event in Nanjing, China.
The AVP event in Austin, Texas, May 17-20 will conflict with the FIVB four-star event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (May 16-20) and a one-star event in Aydin, Turkey (May 17-20).
The AVP Seattle Open slated for June 21-24 will overlap with the FIVB four-star event in Ostrava, Czech Republic, (June 20-24), the Singapore two-star event (June 21-24), and the women’s only Nantong, China two-star event (June 22-25).
The San Francisco Open runs July 5-8, the same weekend as the FIVB’s Espinho, Portugal four-star (July 4-8).
The AVP will return to Hermosa Beach July 26-29, while the FIVB will host events in Agadir, Morocco (three stars, July 25-29), Tokyo, Japan (four-stars July 25-29), and Samsun, Turkey (one-star, July 26-29).
Finally, the Manhattan Beach Gold series event (August 16-19) will run the same weekend as the FIVB’s World Tour Finals’ announced dates of August 14-19, its location not yet revealed.
“I’m looking forward to another fun, competitive and successful 2018 AVP season where fans and spectators of all ages can witness action-packed competition from the best in the sport while soaking up the festival village experience at the same time,” two-time Olympic-medalist April Ross said in the AVP release.
“The best part about bringing beach volleyball to different parts of the country is introducing the beach culture to those who might not typically have exposure to it and showing why we love this sport so much.”
Trevor Crabb, who made four finals last year, agreed.
“Last year I played seven of eight events, and every single city was not only sold out, but had its own unique vibe, and all seven events were great,” Crabb told VolleyballMag.com. “I’m excited about 2018.”
Emily Day also has reason to look forward to 2018, thanks to a 2017 breakthough, winning all three California events in Huntington, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach with partner Brittany Hochevar.
“I’m so excited the AVP has announced their schedule and it’s out this early,” Day told VBM. “I can’t wait to return to cities like Chicago, Hermosa, and of course Manhattan Beach. I especially love the way the schedule was presented on social media.”
Ross to play with Klineman: She announced her partner for 2018 on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. Listen to find out why Ross picked Alix Klineman for the run to Tokyo 2020.
FIVB Sydney: Americans Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske won bronze medals in the two-star even in Australia last weekend.
Skylar DelSol and Adam Roberts, finished 25th, as did 15-year-old Miles Partain and 18-year-old Adam Wienckowski in their international debut.
Canada’s Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton of Canada beat Quincy Aye and Youssef Krou of France in the championship match.
On the women’s side, Kim DiCello and Emily Stockman finished fifth, while Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen and Jace Pardon and Lara Dykstra ended up ninth.
Hometown Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy won gold, Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia of China took silver, and Lena Plesiutschnig and Katharina Schutzenhofer of Austria got bronze.
“Manly Beach was a perfect place to have a volleyball tournament,” said Evans, who in October won his first medal, a silver with Kolinske at FIVB Aalsmeer in The Netherlands. “We drew a very tough Australian team, seeded third. At some points we didn’t feel confident that we would beat them but we managed to pull through and win our pool.
“I personally wanted to get the chance to play Canada, who ended up winning, but both Bill and I didn’t play our best, but recouped to win the bronze-medal match. The medal match was such a great experience in front of the home crowd.
“We were happy to capitalize on a couple of errors from the Australian side and we tried to make their on two play as difficult as possible for us to be successful.”
Dave Culpepper’s son Joel hospitalized for burns: Long-time beach volleyball crew member Dave Culpepper’s son Joel was recently hospitalized after a work accident inadvertently ignited gas due to fumes and heat.
He has since been moved out of ICU and is recovering. Friends that wish to donate can contribute at GoFundMe.
Dentler ties the knot: Pro beach volleyball player Andrew Dentler, finalist at the 2017 NVL Long Beach stop, married Emily Jane Ellisen November 25thin Fallbrook, Calif. They are on their honeymoon in Hawai’i.