Friday, May 30, 2008

AVP Chicago on Google Maps

by Jason Schock at 6:31 PM

I'm in Chicago right now, and while I was browsing around Google Maps, I happened to notice the setup for the AVP Chicago Open (August 2007) captured in one of the satellite images. Pretty cool. (Saved snapshot)

View Larger Map

 

FIVB Barcelona: Branagh-Youngs will play for gold

by Jason Schock at 4:27 PM

Americans Nicole Branagh and partner Elaine Youngs will play for gold in the FIVB Barcelona Open final tomorrow. They face the Brazilian team of Renata & Talita.

Read the story at nbcolympics.com

 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Austin Rester Swims Across Ohio River

by Jason Schock at 8:37 PM

Beach volleyball player, Austin Rester, passingMaybe he just needed the cash. Maybe he wanted the publicity. Either way, AVP player Austin Rester got both when he swam the Ohio River on a dare this weekend during the AVP Louisville Open, netting a reported $900 reward.

The spunky 26-year-old borrowed some spandex from Matt Prosser (whaa?) and set out with a spotter boat to make the trek across the cold-ass Ohio river.

Despite the weirdness of wearing another dude's spandex, which undoubtedly affected his focus, Rester powered though to finish in a respectable hour's time and a hypothermic core body temperature of 94 degrees.

Read more at kindagood.com

 

Monday, May 26, 2008

AVP writers doing some "creative borrowing"?

by Jason Schock at 5:24 PM

Funny. I noticed the teaser for the AVP story on Misty-Kerri's win seems strangely similar to my earlier blog post:

Here's mine, at 2:56 PM:

With her shoulder still healing, Kerri Walsh may not be playing at 100%, but she was healthy enough to help her and partner Misty May-Treanor take first place at the AVP Louisville Open today.
And the AVP's, posted at 3:30 PM:
Kerri Walsh's shoulder might not be 100 percent, but it was good enough for her and teammate Misty May-Treanor to win in Louisville. (screenshot)
I mean, I like theirs better and everything - not as wordy - but it's either a crazy coincidence, or I'm receiving that certain highest form of flattery. Am I nitpicking?

 

AVP Louisville: Misty-Kerry show back on track

by Jason Schock at 2:56 PM

With her shoulder still healing, Kerri Walsh may not be playing at 100%, but she was healthy enough to help her and partner Misty May-Treanor take first place at the AVP Louisville Open today.

They utterly destroyed the #2 seeds, Annett Davis/Jenny Johnson Jordan, 21-14, 21-12.

 

AVP Louisville: Rogers-Dalhausser win 5th tournament in a row

by Jason Schock at 1:18 PM

Uber-duo Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser won their fifth AVP tournament at Louisville today, beating John Hyden and Brad Keenan, 22-20, 17-21, 15-13.

That's five in a row in domestic competition for The Professor and The Thin Beast.

 

The State of the AVP

by Jason Schock at 2:16 AM

I had an article up for about a half-day yesterday summing up a blog post by Hans Stolfus with his take on the state of the AVP.

Hans retracted his blog post, however, and asked me to take mine down, too. The journalist in me hates this, but apparently the AVP is at a pivotal moment right now and communication is sensitive. I obliged because I'm not trying to get anyone kicked off the Tour.

Good times. Now watch a video of the Vegas Line:

 

Sunday, May 25, 2008

FIVB Zagreb: Fuerbringer-Jennings win bronze

by Jason Schock at 5:45 PM

Jennings and FuerbringerMatt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings battled their way through three qualifier matches, got seeded 15th in the main draw, and fought all the way to a bronze finish today, beating the Brazilian 11th seed, 21-19, 21-17 in the FIVB Zagreb Open.

This is duo's best international finish to date.

photo: fivb

 

Saturday, May 24, 2008

FIVB Zagreb: US to play for bronze

by Jason Schock at 2:43 PM

The US team of Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings (15) lost their semifinal match today at the Zagreb Open to a strong Chinese team in an insanely close match, losing 1-2 (16-21, 29-27, 12-15).

Fuerbs-Jennings will play tomorrow for the bronze medal against the Brazilian 11th seeds, Marcio-Fabio.

Xu-Wu also dispatched Americans Gibb-Rosenthal (7) earlier in the day to storm their way to China's first men's finals appearance in international beach volleyball competition.

photo: Fuerbs setting in the semis (fivb)

 

Walsh healthy enough to play in AVP Louisville

by Jason Schock at 2:35 AM

Kerri WalshKerri Walsh will be back in the mix this weekend at the AVP Louisville Open after a shoulder injury forced her and partner Misty May-Treanor out of competition two weeks ago.

Walsh says she'll be playing at about 70% and working on her finesse game so as to not stress he shoulder.

Read the story in courier-journal.com

 

Friday, May 23, 2008

FIVB Zagreb: Fuerbringer/Jennings into semis

by Jason Schock at 4:44 PM

The US team of Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings, playing through qualifiers and seeded 15th, have worked their way through the winners bracket to earn a spot in the semifinals at the FIVB Zagreb Open. They'll play tomorrow for a berth in the big show.

Also still alive in the tournament are Jake Gibb & Sean Rosenthal, albeit having to work their way through the losers bracket.

The third American duo in the tournament, Stein Metzger & Mark Williams, were earlier beaten by Gibb-Rosy to send them packing for home.

 

Kerri Walsh: We'll be making babies after Olympics

by Jason Schock at 6:00 AM

Kerri Walsh will be getting pregnant, she saysIn an interview with NBC Sports, Kerri Walsh confirmed that she and partner Misty May-Treanor will likely get to work on having kids following the 2008 Beijing Olympics:

If we could do it now and still play in the Olympics and do well, we would. But it's not possible so I think right after we get the gold medal, I hope, then we'll both get started on having a family.
The reigning beach volleyball world champs have alluded in the past to their desires to start families, but this is the most explicit statement of their plans to date.

Effects

The effects of Misty/Kerry having kids will be significant. Assuming the natural course of things, they'll likely miss most of the 2009 season, if not all of it.

So who and what will this impact?

Misty & Kerri

We all know pregnant women do crazy things. And yes, we all know the cliché about kids changing your life. Questions that come to mind:
  • When will they be back? End of '09? 2010?
  • Will they come back as dominant as they were before?
  • Will they still be playing together?
  • Who will be the first to eat ashes? An entire jar of pickles?
Yes, the biggest bomb-drop could be that they're splitting up. I could understand them wanting to try something new, but then again, they're addicted to winning.

Misty May Treanor dives for a ballAlso, Misty (30) and Kerri (29) are starting to reach that age -- you know, when things start to break? They certainly have some good years of competition left in them, but good ol' nature tells us they'll physically peak soon.

Other Players

There will surely be a huge psychological advantage to other players.

With Misty/Kerri in the mix, other teams were always playing for second place. I'm not a sport psychologist, but this must really screw up your mental game. It's like you're always playing to lose.

With Misty/Kerri gone, the top spot will up for grabs for an entire season, giving rise to reinvigorated competition, new talent, new leaders.

The AVP Tour

The Misty & Kerri Show are a huge draw for AVP tour events.

Moms love 'em because they're good, wholesome role models. Young girls look up to them and swarm them at events. Dads ogle them.

With the breadwinners on leave, the AVP may suffer a decrease in attendance and revenue. Not good when you're already running on thin margins.

Misty May and Kerri Walsh: Olympic ambitionsThe Sport

Ironically, the Misty/Kerri hiatus may come immediately after the peak of their career together:
  • Four years national dominance
  • Fours years international dominance
  • One, maybe two, Olympic gold medals
Then - poof - gone like a pair of Kaiser Soses, leaving only a few terrified witnesses and some hushed speculation.

Ultimately, the sport has and will continue to prosper from their success. But we're almost certainly about to witness a big change in beach volleyball.

 

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bachelor loser to host AVP telecasts on Fox

by Jason Schock at 3:10 PM

The runner up on this year's season of The Bachelor, Chelsea Wanstrath, will be hosting Fox Sports Net's telecasts of the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tour, beginning in June.

I don't claim to know anything about TV, but it's not clear to me how being a reality show contestant and a former pharmaceutical rep - a professional hottie that seduces doctors into using your company's drugs - qualifies you to host beach volleyball on TV.

Ironically, Wanstrath has a beef with the winner of Bachelor, the daughter of Lorenzo Lamas and a professional actress, who she says didn't belong on the show.

Read the story on durangoherald.com

photo: abc

 

US men & women net bronze in FIVB tournaments

by Jason Schock at 1:13 PM

US men's and women's teams both won bronze this weekend at FIVB beach volleyball tournaments in Italy and South Korea, respectively.

Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs (2) defeated the #1 seed in rainy conditions to take third place at the FIVB Seoul Open, winning 21-19, 13-21, 15-7.

At the FIVB Italian Open, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser (1) took third by beating tour leaders Ricardo-Emanuel (2) in two long games, 24-22, 26-24. This finish now officially qualifies the pair for the Beijing Olympics.

The US have made a strong international showing so far this year, earning three bronzes and a gold in five tournaments.

photo: fivb

 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Karch's New Kareer Koaching Kids, Kristian and Kory

by Jason Schock at 4:00 PM

From the LA Times:

After the 2006 season, morale on the Tartans' volleyball team was at an all-time low. There was even talk of eliminating the program if things didn't turn around in a hurry.

"We got pounded. We took our lumps back then," said Kristian, now a junior. "With my dad around, we're much more prepared. ... We're not intimidated anymore."

Read the story at latimes.com

 

Hello Italy.

by Jason Schock at 3:43 PM

Seems to me, this is one glaring area where the AVP needs to catch up to FIVB:


photo: fivb

 

FIVB Italian Open: Rogers-Dalhausser into semis

by Jason Schock at 3:09 PM

Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser are back to ass-kicking in international competition, making it to the semi-finals of the FIVB Italian Open in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy.

Three other American teams are struggling or are out of competition:

  • Matt Fuerbringer / Casey Jennings (20) - Play 11th seed Germans tomorrow
  • Jake Gibb / Sean Rosenthal (7) - OUT;
    • Last week's winners in Prague, they were knocked out by Fuerbs-Jennings
  • Mark Williams / Stein Metzger (17) - OUT
    • Knocked out by China's Xu-Wu (4)
photo: Jennings-Fuerbs battle Swedish rocker dudes (fivb)

 

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ty Loomis makes 2008 Most Fit list

by Jason Schock at 8:21 PM

Master of both spikes and spiky hair, Ty Loomis, has made the 2008 Men's Fitness 25 Most Fit list, putting him on par with the likes of insanely fit athletes:

  • Brady Quinn (football player)
  • Wladimir Klitschko (boxer)
  • Uh, Tiger Woods (golfer)
Right.

Anyway, the Zoolander-esque Loomis packed on a whopping 20 lbs of muscle (MUSCLE MIIIILK!) in the last two years to help earn the honors, leaping from an individual rank of #25 in 2006 to #17 in 2008 competition so far.

He and his partner, Hans Stolfus, are currently ranked #8 on the AVP tour.

Read the story on mensfitness.com.

photo: Ty Loomis / MySpace.com

 

May-Walsh out of FIVB Seoul Open

by Jason Schock at 8:04 PM

Either the injury is bad, or Misty May and Kerri Walsh are playing it extra cautious.

AP reports that the best women's beach volleyball team in the world withdrew from the FIVB Seoul Open, the second withdrawal since Walsh "tweaked" her shoulder in a tournament on May 4th.

Story on SI.com

 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gibb & Rosenthal win gold in Prague, qualify for Beijing

by Jason Schock at 2:12 PM

Americans Jake Gibb & Sean Rosenthal (13) have shown their mettle for medal, winning gold at the FIVB Prague Open over Germans Brink-Dieckmann (11), 21-13, 23-21. The duo defeated the FIVB Tour's top-rated team, Emanuel-Ricardo, to make the finals.

With this finish, Gibb-Rosenthal are the first American team to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. Todd Rogers & Phil Dalhausser lead in qualifying points, but have yet to play in their 8th and final qualifying tournament. The deadline is July 20.

photo: fivb

 

Men's & women's top seeds win in Charleston

by Jason Schock at 4:06 AM

With the dominant duo of May-Walsh sidelined, Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs took the opportunity to clinch their first AVP Open win of the season, defeating Jen Boss/April Ross, 22-20, 21-15, in the women's finals at Charleston.

For the men, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser continued their tour dominance with their fourth win in a row, defeating Stein Metzger/Mark Williams, 21-19, 21-12.

Metzger-Williams are making a last-ditch effort to capture a berth in the Beijing Olympics, but with this loss to Phil & Todd, and Gibb-Rosenthal's appearance in the gold medal match in the Prague FIVB finals, you have to wonder if the latter two teams have any real chance of being unseated.

More at avp.com

 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gibb & Rosenthal to play for FIVB gold medal

by Jason Schock at 12:01 PM

Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal (13) showed they have gold on their mind by knocking off the FIVB tour's top-ranked team of Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos (2), to make FIVB Prague Open finals.

Battling back to win after being down 11-13 in the third game, Gibb and Rosy battled back to win 21-17, 17-21, 18-16. The duo may have turned a new leaf with this, showing they can keep their cool, rather than tending to self-destruct under pressure as they've done in the past.

The Americans will face German duo Brink-Dieckmann (11) in the finals on Sunday.

photo: fivb

 

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

First US men's duo to qualify for Olympics

by Jason Schock at 8:00 AM

With a finish in the FIVB Prague Men's Open this week, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal will be the first American men's beach volleyball team to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, tentatively taking one of two available US country quota berths.

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, who lead Gibb-Rosy with more than 1000 international points, have yet to play their final tournament to qualify, but will have plenty of opportunities before the July 20 cutoff.

These two teams will be the likely US reps at Beijing, but last minute runs are being made by two other teams:

  • Casey Jennings/Matt Fuerbringer (six more tournaments to qualify)
  • Mike Lambert/Stein Metzger (three more tournaments to qualify)
The women's qualification battle might be a bit closer. The following teams are all qualified:
  • May-Walsh (5840 pts)
  • Branagh-Youngs (3800 pts)
  • Ross-Boss (2900)
  • Wacholder-Turner (2324)
More on Olympics qualifying

 

May-Walsh withdraw from upcoming Charleston Open

by Jason Schock at 1:21 AM

With their eyes on Beijing, Olympic gold medal contenders Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh have withdrawn from the upcoming AVP Charleston Open following a Walsh shoulder problem last Sunday.

USA Today: Shoulder forces Walsh out of beach volleyball tourney

 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Walsh shoulder injury forces forfeit

by Jason Schock at 3:48 PM

Kerri WalshUSA Today is reporting that Kerri Walsh's withdrawal from Sunday's Cuervo Gold Crown final is due to problems with her recently-operated on right shoulder.

"I thought I could push through it; I can't," she said after she and partner Misty May-Treanor withdrew from a $25,000, winner-take-all event Sunday following the Huntington Beach Open. "I don't think I've injured it. I just think after surgery you take two steps forward and two steps back, and this is the first step back."
Walsh and partner Misty May-Treanor are likely gold medal contenders in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, just three months away. Back in January, she pronounced that her surgery would only lead to better performance.

But as we all know, healing requires some amount of rest. Is her injury a result of the AVP pushing players too hard this year?

Story: Walsh's injury forces combo from beach volleyball event

 

Gibb-Rosy win men's Gold Crown; Branagh-Youngs win by forfeit

by Jason Schock at 2:57 PM

Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal scored an extra $25k today after defeating John Hyden and Brad Keenan in the finals of the Cuervo Gold Crown tournament at Huntington Beach, winning 21-18, 21-16.

Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs won the women's competition after Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh forfeited the match due to an yet unspecified Walsh injury.

 

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Huntington 2008: May-Walsh also make it three straight

by Jason Schock at 9:09 PM

Misty May & Kerri WalshThere were more familiar faces in the winner's circle today as Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh took down fourth-ranked Tyra Turner and Rachel Wacholder in the finals of the 2008 AVP Huntington Beach Open, 21-17, 22-20.

May-Walsh will compete for a $25k bonus tomorrow in the Cuervo Gold Crown one-day event.

 

Cuervo Gold Crown: More work, less money

by Jason Schock at 6:08 PM

Phil Dalhausser & Todd Rogers - FatSpike Beach VolleyballLooking through the archives, I realized that the Cuervo Gold Crown is a bit different this year.

Last year:

  • Awarded $100k to the tournament points leaders (see photo)
  • No extra tournament
This year:
  • Extra tournament played
  • $25k to the winners
Sounds like more work for less money. Not sure how happy I'd be if I was a player.

 

Huntington: Rogers-Dalhausser make it three in a row

by Jason Schock at 6:01 PM

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser won their third straight AVP tournament today at the AVP Huntington Beach Open, defeating John Hyden and Brad Keenan 21-14, 22-20. They'll compete tomorrow in the Cuervo Gold Crown mini-tournament to try to tack on an additional $25k to their winnings of $20k today.

 

Double payday this weekend at Huntington Beach

by Jason Schock at 4:45 PM

In keeping with this season's theme of mo' money, while simultaneously challenging the sanity of naming rights conventions, the 2008 AVP Crocs Tour Cuervo Gold Crown Huntington Beach Open features two events this weekend:

  • Fri, Sat: Standard open format, $20k purse
  • Sun: Cuervo Gold Crown mini-tournament, $25k purse
The Cuervo Gold Crown is open to the top four teams on the Tour, based on previous tournament points. Last year, the Gold Crown was awarded at Huntington purely on points, with no extra tournament.

While the extra money is probably good, the extra competition will surely add some wear and tear on the top players in an already-long season.

Story: http://web.avp.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080502&contentid=34129