Though there’s only one AVP tour stop, one NVL event, and one remaining major FIVB tournament left in the 2015 beach volleyball season, there’s no shortage of storylines to follow.
Kerri Walsh Jennings will have surgery this week to repair a torn labrum and torn capsule in her right shoulder. This will be her fifth shoulder surgery, and the 37-year-old three-time gold medalist hopes to be back competing sometime next spring. She and April Ross plan to continue their quest to qualify for the Rio Olympics next year, and they need to play at least five FIVB tournaments to be eligible.
Walsh Jennings former partner in crime, Misty May-Treanor will come out of retirement for the second time to play in the AVP Huntington Beach Championships this weekend. As she did in Seattle earlier in the summer, May-Treanor will partner with fellow Long Beach State alum Brittany Hochevar. The duo will seek to top their third-place Seattle finish.
To do so, May-Treanor and Hochevar will likely have to go through the newly formed duo of Ross and Lauren Fendrick. Fendrick, who is ranked 13th on the FIVB World Tour with partner Brooke Sweat, played with indoor national team player Kristin Hildebrand in the AVP Cincinnati Open last week because Sweat has been dealing with injuries. At the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam last month, Sweat injured her shoulder, and the OC Register reported yesterday that she is currently out with a knee injury.
Another interesting partnership to watch in Huntington is Sean Rosenthal and Ty Loomis. Rosenthal had been playing with Theo Brunner since his partnership with Phil Dalhausser dissolved earlier in the season, but the results for the new team were anything but stellar. After a fifth and a seventh on the AVP tour and a 17th and 25th internationally, the duo pulled out of the Rio Open and didnt play the AVP Cincinnati tournament (though that might also have had something to do with Rosenthal and his girlfriend celebrating the birth of their twins). Loomis finished third last week in Cincinnati with Marty Lorenz after entering the tournament through the qualifier, his best finish since 2011.
Ty Tramblie and Brad Keenan, champions of the 2015 AVP Chicago Open, will play together for only the third time this weekend in Huntington, and they will try to recapture the honeymoon magic that helped elevate them to victory in their debut tournament as partners. Last week in Cincinnati, the duo finished 13th after losing in the first round and forfeiting their second match.
One team you wont see in Huntington is Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena. The two friends from Florida who partnered up earlier this year a decade after starting their professional beach volleyball careers together chose to focus on international competition and travel to Russia for the FIVB Sochi Open. After taking second at the Long Beach Grand Slam and fifth at the Olsztyn Grand Slam, the duo entered the Sochi tournament as the No. 3 seed.