The World Series of Beach Volleyball finishes up today in Long Beach, and lucky for that tournament, the WannaBes are in the house (see photo above of my boy Josh Wells and his WannaBe Athletics partner, Shawn Hima.
They’ll get to watch the finals in person. Assuming you’re not in Long Beach, you can see it on NBC at 1:30 p.m. Central, where every commercial break Saturday began with a WSOBV piece that declares 65,000 are in attendance and 23 million are watching on TV. Say what?
Here’s the Long Beach Press-Telegram story about the men, where Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena advanced to play Brazilians Alison Conte Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt:
And here’s the one about the women, where Kerri Walsh Jennings, despite her shoulder injury, and teammate April Ross take on Brazilians Talita De Rocha Antunes and Larissa Franca Maestrini:
The top-ranked USA women were upset by Serbia in the World Cup in Japan and now their match against China on Monday takes on new importance. The preview from USA Volleyball’s Bill Kauffman:
Iowa coach Bond Shymansky has a tough job, not only in the Big Ten but also in his home state. He was asked the other day if the success at Northern Iowa and Iowa State add motivation.
“This is the Hawkeye State, so we need to be the best program in the state. Period,” Shymansky said. “I know that every sport here feels like that. When Division I athletes inside our borders have an opportunity to play on scholarship, this should be where they dream and desire to come. We have to work to establish and achieve that. We have to earn that right with them and inside of our volleyball community just like every other sport here has to do that. We feel like we are making great strides for that.
“I gave a lecture to a recruit in my office the other day. I said ‘We are done letting top recruits leave our state. We are closing the borders and you are going to come here.’ She kind of laughed and her parents laughed and they thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t kidding. We are going to keep those best kids here.”
Finally today, you will thank me for checking out this outstanding story by Jasper Scherer of Northwestern University of Wildcats player Taylor Tashima, who is back after having a tumor the size of a golf ball removed from her orbital cavity: