Randy Angel

Local players gear up for World Series of Beach Volleyball

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Redondo Beach native Sean Rosenthal and partner Phil Dalhausser are defending gold medal champions of the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam. Photo by Ray Vidal

Redondo Beach native Sean Rosenthal and partner Phil Dalhausser are defending gold medal champions of the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam. Photo by Ray Vidal

Featuring by the best the sport has to offer, the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball returns to Long Beach for a second straight year where thousands of fans and players will celebrate the beach lifestyle Tuesday, July 22 through Sunday, July 27.

The WSOBV was the brainchild of Manhattan Beach resident and former AVP owner Leonard Armato who wanted to create “the most extraordinary beach volleyball event in the history of the planet. It (WSOBV) ignites the entire volleyball community. It combines beach volleyball and beach lifestyles.”

The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) sanctioned event features 128 of the world’s top players for a Grand Slam tournament that has doubled in prize money from last year’s inaugural event, tying the $1 million at the 2014 Gstaad Grand Slam in Switzerland as the most ever in beach volleyball history.

“This record prize purse draws a line in the sand, signifying the massive reach and competitiveness of the sport on the road to the 2016 Olympics,” Armato said. “As the tournament returns for a second year, with a prize purse double in size, we’re excited to work with ASICS, NBC, the FIVB and the top athletes in the game to create a defining event in the USA that captures the imagination of sports fans.”

The WSOBV also includes co-ed and single gender 4’s and 6’s, youth, and collegiate tournaments throughout the week.

In addition to volleyball, the event includes the Fiat Concert Series powered by iHeartRadio, featuring live music including bands MAGIC!, Bleachers, Eric Hutchinson, Katy Tiz and SomeKindaWonderful. On Saturday, July 26 a bikini contest will be held with a grand prize of $1,000.

General admission if free and a limited number of premium tickets along the sand at the stadium court are available for purchase.

Kerri Walsh Jennings makes a pass during the 2013 World Series of Beach Volleyball. Photo by Ray Vidal

Kerri Walsh Jennings makes a pass during the 2013 World Series of Beach Volleyball. Photo by Ray Vidal

Although the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are two years away, professional beach volleyball players are already preparing to qualify for one of two men’s and women’s spots on the U.S. Olympic team.

Arguably the most watched player will be Manhattan Beach resident Kerri Walsh Jennings, who won gold at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics with Misty May Treanor. Walsh Jennings will be looking for a fourth gold in Rio with new partner April Ross.

She joined forces with Ross late last season after giving birth to her and husband Casey Jennings’ third child.

Walsh Jennings and Ross began the 2014 campaign by winning the first FIVB World Tour event of the season in Fuzhou, China. The victory was the 47th career FIVB tournament title for Walsh Jennings, breaking a tie with Brazilian Larissa for most FIVB wins.

Walsh Jennings and Ross are ranked No. 4 in the FIVB point standings posting three first-place and two fifth-place finishes in their first five FIVB events this season.

The Brazilian duo of Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima captured the 2013 Long Beach women’s championship.

Hermosa Beach residents Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat are the second-highest ranked U.S. team at No. 31 and will join many South Bay players competing in the FIVB tournament.

Other U.S. women’s teams include Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach)/Brittany Hochevar (Hermosa Beach), Heather Hughes (Redondo Beach)/Christal Engle (Mar Vista), Emily Day (Torrance)/Summer Ross, Jennifer Fopma/Whitney Pavlik and Ali Daley/Kendra Van Zwieten.

The U.S. has two men’s teams ranked in the FIVB top ten. Redondo Beach native Sean Rosenthal and partner Phil Dalhausser are ranked No. 6 and are the defending champions of the Long Beach Grand Slam. The duo has won gold and bronze on the FIVB tour this season.

Tri Bourne (Manhattan Beach) and John Hyden are ranked No. 9 and won gold in Berlin on June 22.

Also competing in the men’s tournament will be the Manhattan Beach team of Casey Jennings/Avery Drost, Will Montgomery/Stafford Slick (Hermosa Beach), Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Nick Lucena/Ryan Doherty and Todd Rogers/Theo Brunner.

The Co-ed 4’s tournament takes place Friday, July 25. Cost is $250/team for up to five people (add $30 for each additional player). The first place team wins $750 and the runner-up receives $250.

Competition in the 6-Man event will be held in two divisions – single gender and co-ed. The single gender tournament will be held on Saturday, July 26 with the winner of each gender taking home $4,000. Runners-up receive $500. Entry fee is $500 per team up to 10 players (add $50 for each addition player).

The co-ed tournament takes place Sunday, July 27 and costs $300 per team of up to 10 players ($50 for each additional player).

For more information or to register for a tournament, visit wsobv.com.

 

DAILY OVERVIEW

TUESDAY, JULY 22

Qualifier for FIVB Grand Slam

Elite Volleyball College Camp

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23

Pool Play begins for FIVB Grand Slam

Elite Volleyball College Camp

USA Volleyball Juniors Tournament

THURSDAY, JULY 24

Pool Play begins for FIVB Grand Slam

USA Volleyball Juniors Tournament

Collegiate Sand Championships

USA Volleyball High Performance Tournament

FRIDAY, JULY 25

Men’s Rounds of 24, 16 and Quarter Finals, Women’s Rounds of 24 & 16 for FIVB Grand Slam

Co-Ed 4’s Championship

Live Music performances (MAGIC!, Bleachers)

Petros & Money Show LIVE 4 hour broadcast

SATURDAY, JULY 26

Men’s Semi-Finals, Women’s Quarter Finals and Semi-Finals for FIVB Grand Slam

6 Man Championhips (single gender)

Live Music performances (Eric Hutchins, Katy Tiz, SomeKindaWonderful)

SUNDAY, JULY 27

Men’s & Women’s Bronze and Gold Medal matches for FIVB Grand Slam

6 Man Championships (co-ed)

Live Music performances (bands TBD)

Celebrity Pro-Am match

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