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Husky Invitational beach tourney photo gallery with UW, Hawai’i, Portland, Oregon

Editor’s note: Photographer Stephen Burns, a regular contributor to VolleyballMag.com, lives in Seattle and last weekend went to Alki Beach and battled the weather on Saturday and kept shooting Sunday as Washington, Hawai’i, Portland, Oregon competed. His best photos follow. Here’s his report:

Ed Chan, my mentor for professional beach volleyball, advised me on the specific camera rain cover that would serve me best as a resident of Seattle. He was not wrong, as I learned this past weekend. It was easily the stormiest weather I’ve ever experienced on Alki Beach while photographing a tournament.

Hawaii had unlucky timing to visit during Seattle’s coldest April on record. Saturday started off cool with high clouds, then with a tiny bit of drizzle and even some sun. I even removed one of my five layers of clothing as the final match between Washington and Hawaii neared. 

But, as you’ll see in the photo gallery, the dark clouds rolled in while the two teams were warming up. Moments before the match was to start, the wind picked up to 20 miles an hour, the temperature dropped to the low 40s and the precipitation started. 

Not rain, but graupel (snow pellets). Play began when the precipitation turned to rain, paused when the frozen stuff briefly returned, and by the time it was over Washington secured its first win ever against the Rainbow Wahine. The next day, which was a little warmer and dry, Hawaii defeated Washington in the finals.

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