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BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS

Americans start three-week AVP Champions Cup Series

 
Alix Klineman (left) and April Ross are the top-seeded team for the women's tournament
Long Beach, United State, July 17, 2020 – The 2020 beach volleyball season in the United States will be action-packed.

The top teams in the country will be on the sand for the next three weekends in the AVP 2020 Champions Cup Series, which will replace the originally planned eight-event season with tournaments in consecutive weeks in Long Beach, California.


After a long break from competing and training, USA players are ready to return to the sand again.

“Quarantine was a huge change of pace,” Alix Klineman said. “I’m used to having days completely packed with workouts and different volleyball commitments, and so to have days with no formal commitments was weird. But it was also refreshing, to be completely honest, to slow down and make time for things I normally can’t. But now I’m so ready to get back on the court again.”

Klineman and two-time Olympic medallist April Ross, who were the runners-up at the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, are the top-seeded duo among the women. In Long Beach, they could cross paths again with Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, who upset them to become the world champions last year in Hamburg.


A third Canadian World Tour star is guaranteed in the main draw in Brandie Wilkerson, who will join forces with American defender Sara Hughes. Up-and-comers Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes and veterans Emily Day and Lauren Fendrick, who are together after Day’s regular partner Betsi Flint announced that she is pregnant, complete the top-5.

The men’s tournament will also feature several familiar World Tour faces. The list starts with Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and his partner Nick Lucena, and also includes 2019 Chetumal champions Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb and last year’s World Championship semifinalists Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb.


The qualifier for the men will deserve special attention as three Olympic champions will be among the 12 teams fighting for the last two main draw spots. Brazilian Ricardo Santos, an Athens 2004 gold medallist, will debut his new team with Miles Evans while Reid Priddy and David Lee, members of the American volleyball team that triumphed at the 2008 Beijing Games, will join forces in the sand for the first time. Two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal will also be in contention, paired with Billy Kolinske.

The qualifier will open the competition on Friday, July 17, while the main draw will be played in a double elimination system on Saturday, July 18, and Sunday, July 19.



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