This weekend, although overcast and rainy out here in Colorado, brings with it thoughts of beach volleyball. Why? Because this weekend is the 2010 season opener on the AVP tour. With $200,000 up for grabs and a new sponsor (NIVEA) on tour, here’s hoping this tournament delivers some good matches.
Let’s go ahead and say it now: the big news is that Misty May-Traenor is back playing full time for the first time since October 2008. That’s pretty cool, and it’s the dominant story about this tournament right now. She’s playing without Kerri Walsh (who is very pregnant right now), but there’s little doubt that she and Nicole Branagh (the No. 1 seed on the women’s side) will put on a good show.
Coming in behind the legendary Ms. May and Branagh are Jennifer Kessy and April Ross at No. 2, Priscilla Lima and Tatiana Minello at No. 3, Rachel Wacholder and Elaine Youngs at No. 4, and Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan at No. 5.
On the men’s side we’ve got some new partnerships debuting this weekend as well. No. 3 – ranked Casey Jennings and Brad Keenan are new teammates, as are No. 6-ranked Matt Fuerbringer and Florida native Nick Lucena.
We’ve got the No. 1 spot filled by Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, which is no surprise, and they’re trailed by John Hyden and Sean Scott at No. 2, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal at No. 4 and John Mayer and Jeff Nygaard at No. 5.
Play is underway right now, but so far I’m not seeing much in the way of results. Keep your eyes on Volleyball-life on Monday for a complete recap. You can bet I’ll be finding a sports bar somewhere that I can convince to show the finals Sunday afternoon. Before that, in case you need an excuse to spend a whole lot of time in a bar, there will be many hours (5, to be exact) of classic beach volleyball on ESPN Classic. All the details are available here.
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